From the first bell, both fighters opted against a feeling out process and begin trading, both landing clean solid shots.. Neither fighter let up going into the second, with what looked like the beginnings of an action packed classic, both fighters showing little regard for defence. Provodnikov began the third round pressing the action, but Molina showed extreme determination by matching him behind a clever jab..
Molina continued to work his jab in the fourth while sustaining a brutal body attack, midway through an accidental headbutt opened a cut over Provodnikov's eye as the punches on both sides began to score with more conviction, both fighters relentlessly engaging right up until the bell.
In round six, Molina’s jab neutralised his opponent’s rhythm, dictating the pace, Provodnikov's only success was a right-left on Molina near the end of the round. Molina obliged by returned fire before continually boxing behind the jab.. Provodnikov’s did find success with the left hook during a heated seventh round where shots were landed after the bell.
Provodnikov's cut reopened in the eighth but the Russian defiantly refused to take a backward step, eating uppercuts whilst landing shots of his own in the ninth, lunging wildly as Molina intelligently stuck to the jab.
The tempo dropped considerably by the tenth and Provodnikov employed some much needed head movement to help in his quest to avoid the jab, both fighters feeling the pace entering the championship rounds. Provodnikov started to come on in the eleventh with Molina throwing fewer jabs, Provodnikov looking for any sign of decline from the California fighter
In the final round, both fighters put it all on the line, each willing to go that extra mile to catch the judges eyes in the dying seconds of a fabulous battle.. By the finish the 3 judges were in agreement that Molina had deserved the victory by scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 117-111.
Molina had sprung a popular upset, Provodnikov however was gracious in defeat..
“The decision was right. Molina won the fight; he was better tonight,” Provodnikov admitted. “We expected he would box and move. It wasn’t my night tonight. It just didn’t go for me today. There’s no excuses. I lost the fight tonight. Maybe it was motivation or something else. I’m sorry if I disappointed.”