Molina dethrones Smith for IBF crown‎

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Carlos Molina, left, poses for photos with referee Jay Nady after defeating Ishe Smith in an IBF junior middleweight title fight, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

LAS VEGAS— Carlos Molina won the International Boxing Federation’s junior middleweight title with a split-decision victory over Ishe Smith at the MGM Grand Hotel on Saturday.

The 30-year-old Molina captured his first major world title after a 12-year boxing career. The Mexican has now won five of his last six fights, with his record improving to 22-5-2 with six knockouts.

American Smith, who beat Cornelius Bundrage in February for the title, fell to 25-6.

They fought on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather and Saul Alvarez 12-round world title fight for Alvarez’s World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association super welterweight belts.

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