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Ishe Smith vs. Carlos Molina: Fight Time, Date, TV Info and More

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIISeptember 13, 2013

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 28:  IBF light middleweight champion Ishe Smith works out at the Mayweather Boxing Club on August 28, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Smith will defend his title against boxer Carlos Molina on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Canelo Alvarez title fight on September 14 in Las Vegas.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Being part of the Money Team has its privileges. IBF middleweight champion Ishe "Sugar Shay" Smith (25-0, 11 KO) has an opportunity to defend his title against "King" Carlos Molina (21-5-2, 6 KO) on the biggest pay-per-view boxing card of the year on Saturday. The fight is one of the undercard bouts on a card headlined by the Floyd Mayweather vs. Saul "Canelo" Alvarez bout.

As talented as Smith is, he wouldn't have this chance without being part of Mayweather's Money Team Promotions. Smith put in the work in a long-suffering career and Mayweather noticed it. Now Smith is a champion getting ready for a major fight in front of a huge audience at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Smith won the title by outboxing Cornelius "K9" Bundrage in Feb. Molina has won his last two fights. Most recently, he defeated Cory Spinks by unanimous decision. This figures to be a well-fought , technical bout between two seasoned professionals.

Here's how you can watch the entire event.

The Book on Smith

As a native of Las Vegas, Smith became the first ever fighter from the fighting mecca to win a world title, per David Mayo of MLive.com. He'll battle Molina as a hometown favorite. His current place in the sport is a far cry from where he was a few years ago. Per Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Eurosport, Smith was on the brink of suicide.

Issues in his career and personal life had sent Smith into a depression. Growing up without a father is an issue that seemingly still haunts Smith to this day. In Iole's article, Smith said:

I sat there staring at the gun, looking at the bullets, putting the bullets in the gun, sitting in the dark. I was thinking, man, what do I do? The only thing that kept me here and prevented me from pulling that trigger is the one thing I always hated: Growing up without a dad.

I thought to myself, 'How selfish would I be if I took myself?' No matter what, if another man came along, he'd never be their dad. And so the one thing I hated and despised, and to this day I still hate, is what kept me alive.

After Smith re-directed his life, he went on a four-fight win streak from Nov. 2010 to the present. It culminated with a world title, and Smith hopes to keep his good fortunes going with a win over Molina on Saturday night.

The Book on Molina

Hailing from Chicago, the 30-year-old Molina has fought in his hometown several times. His most recent scrap in the Windy City was his most fruitful. It resulted in Molina obtaining this title shot against Smith. In February, Molina bested the over-the-hill Spinks at the UIC Pavilion. The fight featured a point deduction from Spinks and a ton of holding from the former welterweight champion in an effort to simply hang on.

Molina is the underdog and the lesser-known fighter Saturday's bout, but that is a role he has become accustomed to. He told FightNews.com:

I’m used to being the underdog and going into other people’s hometowns and everyone thinking I won’t win. I’m used to dealing with that. I never let anything get me down. I prepare myself mentally and physically for any obstacle.

Molina has had some tough luck decisions in his career. Controversial draws to Erislandy Lara and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. and a weird DQ defeat to James Kirkland have slowed his progress, per BoxRec.com. 

Facing Smith is going to be a tough task for Molina because of the champion's skill set. Having to overcome the influence of Smith's hometown crowd could also be an issue.

Prediction

Neither fighter brings a ton of power to the fight. Molina has only stopped six opponents in his 28-fight career. Smith's 36.67 KO percentage is also pretty modest.

Despite the less-than-explosive punching power on both sides, this is a matchup of two rugged, no-nonsense fighters. Smith will have a slight one-inch height and reach advantage over Molina, but in the ring it may appear even bigger.

Smith naturally fights a little taller than Molina, and, if he uses this dynamic properly, he can have his way from the outside.

Despite this potential edge, Smith usually like to fight on the inside. Even though he doesn't have one-punch KO power, he is an accurate counter puncher who can batter an opponent who stays in front of him.

Take a look at this impressive stoppage of Ayi Bruce in 2002.

Molina doesn't have great athletic skills, but he works hard and is a thinker in the ring. His style and athleticism makes his fights difficult to score. The combination of a lack of power and his ultra-defensive nature is one of the reasons he's been prone to lose tough decisions. Here is a look at Molina against Damian Frias in Aug. 2012.

Because he doesn't have great length or power, it seems hard to imagine a scenario where he will be able to out-point the bigger, stronger and faster Smith. Throw in the fact that the fight is in Vegas, and Molina would have a better chance playing the slots than he does of winning this fight.

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