December 29, 2016
December 29, 2016
Deontay Wilder

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I WATCHED Anthony Joshua beat Eric Molina, and I don’t think Molina showed up to fight. Molina fought me, in fact he had a great fight with me, but when he got over to the UK, well, something went wrong.

I guess the overwhelming power of the crowd can get to a fighter when they’ve never experienced anything like that before. In the UK, and in other countries, boxing is definitely bigger than America so when a fighter is not used to that, and it’s their first time, sometimes it can be spooky. I think Molina got spooked out with the crowd, I don’t think it was so much  because of Joshua – he definitely wasn’t scared of him. But you could tell during the ringwalk, by his eyes as he looked down, he looked nervous, and didn’t show up to fight. We always say boxing is 94 per cent mental, and the rest is physical and that right there showed it was more mental than physical. But Molina didn’t give Joshua a fight at all.

I have been impressed with what Joshua has been doing, though. He’s looked just like me, that’s why I’m happy for him, and everything that he’s doing for his country and for boxing. He’s like me, he’s knocking everybody out. Although I wasn’t getting praise as much as he is, I can relate. Where he is in his country, everybody is behind him and that’s a beautiful thing – I wish I had that too. But let’s see what happens. Look at David Price, he will say everyone was with him when he was on top, but when he dropped the ball, people stopped calling him, nobody was around. But Joshua is knowledgeable and when you hear him talk, he knows what he’s doing, he gets it. All the love he gets isn’t going to his head because he knows that people show fake love. Time will tell – the same people that cheer on the way up, will be the same ones that knock you down. But for now, he’s doing a great job.

I wish fans would stop criticising fighters. I took a lot of criticism because of the guys I defended my title against, but look at them all now. They’ve all proved their worth. Just because you haven’t heard of someone doesn’t mean they can’t fight. It takes a lot to get in the ring, I take it so serious because
I risk my life in the ring; I have four beautiful children, they call me all the time, they look up to me, they love me. This is a dangerous sport. For people to disrespect a fighter, in any kind of way, I don’t like it. How about those who criticise get in the ring and try it out. See if you have the balls to get in there like that fighter you called a bum. I respect every fighter, at every level.

Joshua is at the top level, and my heart tells me he will beat Klitschko. But my mind goes with Klitschko. I still believe that father time is at Klitschko’s door but I think he still has a little bit left in him. It was an embarrassment that he got beat by Tyson Fury. You’re looking at a champion who ruled the division for a decade and all of a sudden you get a loss. Just describing it in my situation, being undefeated, if I had a loss my heart would go to my stomach so imagine if I was champion for a decade. I think the fact he sparred AJ before, and he wants redemption, we may see something. On the other hand, “AJ” is young, strong and just as tall and most of the time in those situations the young guy prevails. Sometimes when you get dethroned, it’s best to stay away. So you may think that you still have it, but your body and mind are too slow. It’s going to be an interesting fight. Overall, it’s good for the division, I’m glad this fight is happening, and make sure you all look forward to seeing me take on the winner.

This articles was originally published in Boxing News magazine