Norwalk’s Javier Molina falls to Jamal James in Club Nokia main event
Welterweight Jamal James of Minnesota remained unbeaten Tuesday night, delivering steady jabs and showing superior quickness to defeat Norwalk’s Javier Molina by unanimous decision at downtown’s Club Nokia.
The judges’ scoring -- 99-91 (Lou Moret), 98-92 (Sergio Caiz), 97-93 (Zachary Young) -- was surprisingly one-sided, given that the bout was in Molina’s hometown and that the 2008 U.S. Olympian had some impressive moments.
“I didn’t feel like the scorecards were fair,” Molina said. “One judge only gave me one round. No way that was right. Either way, I think I fought a good fight.”
The early rounds looked like toss-ups to most at ringside.
“I got him to fight my fight,” James said afterward. “I kept him on the outside, stuck to my game plan. … He had some tricky movement with his feet. The range was tough … but once I found it, everything fell into place.”
Molina (17-2) shrugged off bruising at both eyes to pound James with combinations and an impressive counterpunch in the sixth after bringing the crowd to life with hard right-handed punches in the fifth.
But James (19-0) remained busy, and his speedy attack kept Molina from delivering his more powerful blows.
James’ jabs opened a cut near Molina’s right eye in the 10th, requiring stitches.
“I am proud to win in his backyard,” James said. “The crowd was cheering for him. I was able to turn all of that off, listen to my corner and get the W.”
Earlier, super-middleweight David Benavidez of Phoenix battered Vermont’s Kevin Cobbs (10-2) in the second round en route to a technical-knockout victory.
Benavidez, younger brother of unbeaten super-lightweight Jose Benavidez, ended the bout 1:08 into the second.
“I knew I was going to get my opponent out fast. I saw him fight. He doesn’t have that many skills,” Benavidez said. “He was running a lot in the first round and that’s why I didn’t get him out sooner. As soon as I got my hands ... good night.”
In the other television bout, Nashville’s Caleb Plant improved to 12-0 with nine knockouts by finishing Spain’s Adasat Rodriguez 2:37 into the sixth round.
Follow Lance Pugmire on Twitter @latimespugmire
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