Carlos Molina is a largely unknown commodity coming into his fight with Amir Khan that is scheduled for this Saturday, December 15 on Showtime.
Most fans—and even some boxing people—thought Khan was taking on the Carlos Molina who gave James Kirkland all that he could take, and then some, at junior middleweight.
That's a different Carlos Molina.
The Carlos Molina that Khan will be taking on is an undefeated lightweight from Los Angeles who will be moving up in weight to the junior welterweight division for the first time in his career.
Molina understands that he has a huge task in front of him and that beating Khan in his hometown could be his "Rocky" moment.
"This is by far the biggest fight of my life," Molina said. "My dream is becoming a reality and to have it be right here in my hometown will add that extra motivation and desire."
"It's going to be the hometown kid, Carlos Molina coming out still undefeated," he said.
"I think they seen my knockout ratio and they probably think that I don't have too much power," Molina added. "I think they chose the wrong opponent and I am just hungry to win."
With a record of 17-0-1, with only seven knockouts, it does seem as though he was chosen to be just that: an opponent. While his record is very respectable, he hasn't shown a lot of power throughout his career and is moving up in weight to challenge a much bigger man.
Molina has nothing to lose coming into this fight. If he loses, it will be acceptable because he was supposed to. But if he wins, there will be all sorts of opportunities for the Mexican-American fighter.
"Amir Khan is an elite fighter," Molina said. "A win over Khan is going to catapult me and a lot of people are going to know who I am."
"It is going to open the doors to get to fight for a world title, which has been my lifetime goal."
Dreams can come in true in boxing, just ask Jose "Josesito" Lopez. The Southern California fighter shocked the world earlier this year when he moved up in weight and stopped heavy favorite Victor Ortiz.
After the win, Lopez was rewarded with a shot at Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, a record high payday and a chance at WBC junior middleweight title.
Molina, much like Lopez was against Ortiz, is a heavy underdog and is not expected to win this fight. But if he does win, the same sorts of opportunities could open up for him in both the junior welterweight and lightweight divisions.
Opportunities such as a possible shot at junior welterweight kingpin WBA/WBC champion Danny Garcia or a move back down to his former weight class to challenge WBC lightweight titleholder, Mr. HBO, Adrien Broner would not be out of the question. The fighters share the same promoter and a win over Khan would certainly make Molina a viable contender in either division.
If Khan were to lose, however unlikely that may be, it would be his third loss in as many fights. A loss at this point would be absolutely devastating, whether it comes by stoppage or decision, and it could be something that he may never be able to bounce back from.
Michael Walters is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.