Carlos Molina spars for 15 rounds each Saturday leading up to a big fight. (Hilary Higgins/RedEye )
Chicago boxer Carlos Molina has had his share of big wins, close calls and run-ins with boxing legends.
Oct. 23, 2003: Molina turns pro at age 20, just two years after taking up boxing.
Dec. 16, 2005: Molina battles Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (23-0) to a draw.
2006-07: Molina goes on a three-fight losing streak, all against undefeated fighters in close decisions.
June 5, 2009: Molina defeats Danny Perez (34-5) by unanimous decision to win the WBO NABO regional title. Famed promoter Don King signs Molina with a $50,000 check and a promise to fight for a world title. The fight never happens.
March 25, 2011: After Molina sits out 18 months over his disputed contract with King, he battles former Cuban Olympian Erislandy Lara to a draw on ESPN.
July 9, 2011: Molina defeats former world champion Kermit Cintron by unanimous decision on Showtime.
March 24, 2012: Molina dominates James Kirkland (30-1) in a title eliminator bout in an effort to earn a shot at Canelo Alvarez for his WBC world title. Molina is ahead on the scorecards late in the fight before the referee disqualifies Molina for his corner man stepping into the ring a few seconds early between rounds.
Feb. 1, 2013: Molina will fight Corey Spinks in an IBF title eliminator bout in Chicago. The winner will fight light middleweight champ Cornelius Bundrage for his championship.
Bill Hillmann is a RedEye special contributor.
Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye Sports' Facebook page.