LAS VEGAS -- Southern California junior welterweight Carlos Molina laughs about it, but sometimes it’s not that funny. He’d like everyone to know that he is not the same guy as the incarcerated junior middleweight titleholder from Mexico who lives in Chicago.
The other Carlos Molina was supposed to defend his world title on March 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but was arrested a few days before the fight on an outstanding warrant for not registering as a sex offender. Molina was later discovered to be in the United States illegally, the fight was canceled, and he remains in custody.
This Molina is younger, smaller and ready to fight former three-division titleholder and heavy favorite Adrien Broner (27-1, 22 KOs) in a 10-round junior welterweight bout on Saturday night (Showtime PPV, 9 ET) at the MGM Grand on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Marcos Maidana undercard.
“People confuse us a lot, like the media or on Twitter,” Molina said Tuesday during a gab session with boxing writers. “There were a few places where they put up my picture, my face, and I was like, ‘Hold up, it’s not me. Do your homework.’”
Even his own family has gotten mixed up.
“We get confused all the time. Some of my family members, when he would fight, they’d call me [and say], ‘Hey, good luck on your fight.’ No, it’s not me,” he said, laughing.
But it hasn’t always been a laughing matter.
He said there have been publications or television programs that used his photo with a story about his namesake and his legal problems.
“There were a few stories with my face,” said Molina, 28, who has never met the other Molina. “I got on the phone with my manager, Frank Espinoza, and he pretty much took care of it.”
As for Saturday’s fight, Molina (17-1-1, 7 KOs) brushed off Broner’s assertion that he will be nothing more than a “punching bag with arms and legs.”
“I think the only fight he probably ever saw me [in] was me against Amir Khan,” Molina said of his 10th-round knockout loss in December 2012, the last time Molina fought. “I just fought a completely wrong fight. Amir Khan and [Broner’s] style is completely different.
“He’s gonna be surprised when I’m in there showing my speed and boxing ability. I’ve been in Southern California my whole life. We got a great amateur system there. In the pros, we got great sparring. He’s gonna be surprised at my abilities.”
Molina’s younger brothers, Javier and Oscar Molina, were both Olympians. Javier represented the United States in 2008 and Oscar represented Mexico in 2012.
“I think we come from a good pedigree,” said Carlos Molina, a standout amateur in his own right.