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HARLINGEN — Former heavyweight world title challenger Eric “The Drummer Boy” Molina went into the 10th round against Tomasz Adamek down big on all of the judges’ cards, only a finish would do despite the fight being slated for 12 rounds.
Adamek, a former world champion in two weight classes and regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound Polish fighters of all time, also had the backing of Tauron Arena in Krakow, Poland — the venue for the April 2, 2016, fight between Molina and Adamek.
Molina silenced the Polish crowd after flooring Adamek during the closing seconds of the 10th round to win the vacant IBF intercontinental heavyweight title and an eventual IBF heavyweight title fight.
Molina, along with Robert Campos, Raul Casarez, Tom Lindsey, Mario Davila and Omar Figueroa Sr., will be inducted into the Rio Grande Valley Boxing Hall of Fame at 5 p.m. Friday at the Harlingen Convention Center with a special guest, Evander Holyfield, the former undisputed cruiserweight and heavyweight champion, taking part in the ceremony.
Molina’s 17-year boxing career ended in March after a trip to Montreal, Canada. Molina knew going into the fight it was his last and a month or two after, the RGV Boxing Hall of Fame came knocking.
“Of course it was an honor to accept the nomination and be a part of the event,” Molina said. “It means a lot to me. We are getting ready for that this Friday, and I am just really honored and humble to be a part of it.”
He was proud of how he left things. Molina shared the ring with some of heavyweight boxing’s greatest talents of this generation — the main two being Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.
Molina said times were tough, and he was in a very dark place after the loss to Wilder. Molina rebounded afterward with a win in the Valley and the knockout in Krakow.
“That was definitely the highlight of my career,” Molina said. “That is where I began to frame the term, ‘the art of bouncing back,’ it was just in my entire career. I started off going 0-1 in my career, bounced back. I’d lose another one and people will write you off. I just bounced back every single time.
“So, just knowing that I can do that, and I did that after the Wilder fight and I challenged for my second heavyweight title, that was the most special moment for me,” Molina added.
Molina did not have an amateur career and, after starting 0-1, rattled off 18 straight wins. He ended his career with a 29-9 record.
The inductees and other local professional fighters will be signing autographs before the banquet begins. Tickets, tables and information are available by calling (956) 536-5287.