ERIC MOLINA has a warning for Anthony Joshua ahead of their December 10 IBF world title fight at the Manchester Arena, telling him to forget what he used to think. “I’m getting better every fight. I fought five rounds against [Deontay] Wilder with a busted ankle, so everything you saw from me was done on one ankle. That’s the kind of guy this young man is facing. I fight with everything I’ve got. Even if I’m hurt, I still fight, because I know that one punch at any given moment can win me the fight. Anything can happen in the heavyweight division,” he said
“I knew this fight was coming my way because nobody wants to fight him. Let’s be real. All the other fighters want to go and fight other guys and for the other belts and not face Anthony Joshua. I’m a guy that’s been in with Wilder – no one wants to fight Wilder, but I did, and that’s why I’m in London today and will be in Manchester on December 10 putting it all on the line, body and soul. I want that IBF belt, I don’t have the option to go for another belt or down another route. This is it for me, and that means he’s going to have the toughest fight of his career, I can guarantee that.
“Back home, people know me as a certain type of fighter. On day one of my career I lost in the first round and that’s why on the back of my shirt it says ‘The Art Of Bouncing Back.’ Those aren’t just words. Boxing is the most brutal sport when it comes to trying to bounce back. Once you lose, everybody is gone from your side. There are fighters out there that say they want to bounce back but they don’t have the guts to put themselves in a position to do it. I put myself in the fight with Wilder and I went to Poland and beat Adamek to bounce back and show people who I am.”
Joshua responded, “It takes courage to step into the ring. Deontay Wilder is known as a one-punch KO artist and Eric stood up to his power, so it shows that he’s here to push the champion and take my title.
“I don’t get involved in other people’s issues or stories, it’s nothing to do with me. It wasn’t that long ago that no one cared what I was doing, so I don’t really have to prove myself to anyone aside from myself.
“The division has been blown wide open but they’ve been saying that for a while and they will keep saying it until someone dominates the division again. It’s not so much about brand and hype, it’s about guys like Eric that come with true heart and are gladiators and fight for the love of the sport, and leave everything in the ring on fight night.
“There’s a lot at stake and with Sky Sports and Showtime behind us, this is a big stage to show what you have got. I’m serious about what I do and about moving forward. I don’t have a script, I can only speak from the heart; whatever Eric’s destiny is, that’s what will happen on the night. If his destiny is to become heavyweight champion, so be it. But my destiny is to carry on the path I am on and put in a dominant performance on an explosive night of boxing in Manchester.”