It takes a brave man to step into the ring with IBF World Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. But American Eric Molina has accepted the challenge and he could well prove to be an exciting contender.
The 34-year-old Molina (25-3, 19 KO) is a seasoned campaigner who’s proven a tough nut to crack for some of the world’s best fighters.
Deontay Wilder was badly rocked in last year’s WBC World Heavyweight showdown with ‘Drummer Boy’, before recovering to win with a ninth round stoppage.
Molina had pulled himself off the canvas three times in that contest, which should tell Joshua all he needs to know about his chiselled opponent.
Of course, it’s hard to escape the fact that Molina is the 10/1 underdog ahead of the big fight in Manchester.
But don’t be fooled. The Texan native is the archetypal underdog and his most recent victory against Tomasz Adamek was a typical ‘against-all-odds’ triumph.
It was the first time Molina had fought outside the United States and not many were giving him a chance.
But he proved the doubters wrong and produced a 10th round stoppage in Adamek’s own backyard.
In fact, Molina has made a career out of being playing second fiddle, only to spring a surprise.
And hopefully at the very least, he’ll provide a stern test of the champions’ credentials.
Eric Molina – The vital statistics:
Age – 34
Height – 6ft 4in
Fights – 28
Won – 25
By KO –19
Drawn – 0
Lost – 3
Rounds – 120
Did you know?
Molina became a full-time teacher at a public school in Texas after losing to Chris Arreola four years ago. However, a year into his new role a call from Don King persuaded him back into the ring and he hasn’t looked back since.
Ladbrokes Latest Betting:
Anthony Joshua – 1/25
Draw or Technical Draw – 40/1
Eric Molina – 10/1
Head to Ladbrokes.com on December 10 to enjoy a number of Joshua v Molina Price Boosts!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing