Suspension, injury don’t cloud undefeated Bey’s focus in ring

The first half of the year has not been kind to Mickey Bey. But he can change his luck tonight with a win at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Bey, a lightweight boxer from Cleveland who lives and trains in Las Vegas, will face John Molina in the 10-round main event of a Mayweather Promotions fight card on Showtime. Bey (18-0-1, one no-contest, nine knockouts) would like to restart his career after it took a couple of backward steps.

“I don’t think I have to prove anything to anybody,” Bey said prior to a workout last week at the Mayweather Boxing Club. “I’ve just been trying to stay positive, and I’m anxious to fight.”

Bey, 30, tested positive for an abnormally high testosterone level after he beat Robert Rodriguez (7-2, three KOs) on Feb. 2 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and was suspended three months by the Nevada Athletic Commission. He was to return to the ring May 4 on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s welterweight title fight against Robert Guerrero. But he injured his right hand two weeks before his fight with Jose Hernandez (14-6-1, six KOs) and had to withdraw from the bout.

“My hand’s fine, no problems,” Bey said. “It was an unfortunate setback that sometimes happens in boxing.”

Bey caught a good break, though it came at the expense of his friend Ishe Smith. Initially, Smith (25-5, 11 KOs) was to defend his IBF junior middleweight title tonight against Carlos Molina (21-5-2, six KOs) at the Hard Rock. But when Smith was cut above his eye while sparring a couple of weeks ago and had to pull out of what would have been his first title defense, Bey’s fight was elevated to main event status.

“When you say things sometimes happen for a reason, I believe it,” Bey said. “It was unfortunate what happened to Ishe. But it’s a great opportunity for me, and I plan to capitalize on it.”

The 30-year-old John Molina (25-3, 20 KOs) figures to provide a good test for Bey. He’s big and strong and hits hard.

“He’s got a lot of power, but we’re ready for anything, and I’m not taking him lightly,” Bey said. “It’s like Floyd always says, the plan is to hit and not get hit and put on a good show.”

Bey admitted his roller-coaster first half of 2013 has been mentally tough. But he’s looking forward as he resumes his career tonight.

“I’m a genuine person with a great spirit,” he said. “I can’t change what happened before. But I have a chance to show I’m one of the best fighters in my division, and I’m excited to be back doing what I love.”

First bell for the card, which has super middleweight Badou Jack (14-0, 10 KOs) meeting Farah Ennis (21-1, 12 KOs) in a 10-round co-feature, is 5:30 p.m. The Showtime telecast begins at 7.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.

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