Former world super-welterweight champion Carlos Molina believes Josh Kelly could struggle at the highest level due a lack of punching power.
Molina, who lost via decision to Kelly in March, sees the Sunderland man reaching the heights previously predicted by many in the sport, but says that ultimate killer instinct may be missing.
Kelly has already beaten a world champion in Molina despite just fighting six times as a pro and returns this weekend in a bid to claim the Commonwealth welterweight title.
‘King’ Carlos has since moved back up 154 where he picked up the IBF strap in 2013 and admitted he struggled to get going against Kelly in Cardiff.
“I know why I lost to Josh Kelly, and as a fighter, it is frustrating to know I was capable of doing more in the fight and just didn’t do it,” Molina exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Josh Kelly is a guy I should be able to beat. My game plan was off and I didn’t adjust soon enough in the fight to get the win.
“Matchroom will give him the right fights and he can go all the way. Kelly has fast hands and sharp reflexes and he runs instead of exchanging.
“He plays it really safe and It’s a tough fight to win fighting a fast fighter with an amateur fight style. He pops and moves and isn’t down to exchange.
“In saying that, Kelly was definitely the lightest puncher I have ever faced. his punching power is going to be his biggest weakness, along with his predictability.
“I don’t see him stopping any of the current champions at 147,” he added.
The 35 year-old is currently training for a return to action against Souleymane Cissokho in France next week and has been working on further improvements after making the decision to move back up in weight.
“I feel like I have changed how I fight since moving to Mexico and some of those changes have been good, and some not so much,” said Molina.
“My boxing is a continuous learning process and like all my fights I learned from fighting Josh, and I will use some of that in my next fight.”
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay