MEXICAN-American heavyweight Eric Molina scored a big away win on Saturday (April 2) as he travelled to Poland and stopped Tomasz Adamek in the 10th-round. Improving to 25-3 (19) and scoring his second win since being stopped in a WBC title challenge of Deontay Wilder last June, Molina now wants first crack at the winner of this Saturday’s Charles Martin-Anthony Joshua fight.
Molina is also interested in going back to Poland, and of facing the winner of the upcoming Kubrat Pulev-Dereck Chisora clash. As he explains here to Boxing News, Molina says it would be a “dream come true to fight in England”.
Q: Congratulations on the big 10th-round stoppage win over Adamek. First of all, did you feel you were falling behind on points at the time of your stoppage win?
E.M: “Thank you! I think at that stage of the fight, I was getting a little frustrated with his movement, but we had a game-plan and I knew I’d stick to it. We had a great game-plan. I went to his body a lot and made him work. Normally in fights, he comes on strong in the 10th, 11th and 12th-rounds, so by me putting a lot of body work in the bag, I knew I’d make him pay late. He fell right into my trap by opening up in the later rounds and he fell right into my right hand.”
Q: This is the biggest win of your career, but was it also your best performance or can you box better?
E.M: “I can definitely box better. There’s improvements to be made but I’m making sure I do the work to make those improvements. With the seven week camp we had for Adamek, and knowing a lot about him – he’s no closed book by any means – I knew what would work and what I could capitalise on against him. It was a good win for me and – I’m not making any excuses – I hurt my right hand in sparring before the fight; almost to the extent that we could have pulled out. But we protected the injury in camp and went ahead with the fight. I hurt the hand sparring with Artur Szpilka, my first southpaw for the Adamek fight. The thing is, the world has not yet seen the best of Eric Molina.”
Q: Will the hand injury keep you out for any length of time?
E.M: “I’ll see the doctor this week, I’ll maybe have a week or so off. Ideally, I’d like to fight again in four to six months, by November at the latest. I don’t know if you guys noticed, but I’m at a lower weight now, 235 to 238-pounds being an ideal weight for me. I’m working with a strength and conditioning trainer and like I say, I’m putting the work in.”
Q: The big question is, who next?
E.M: “Ideally for me, I’d like the Anthony Joshua-Charles Martin winner. I want to see if either of them is the real deal. The winner of that fight needs to make a statement to prove they are up there with the superstars of the division. Joshua is a good fighter but he hasn’t really had to think and use his brain in a fight yet. Neither Joshua nor Martin has ever fought a fighter like me – who can hurt them at any given time of any given round, and who can also take a punch. I’ve said to people, it makes the most sense for me to fight him [Joshua] in his first [defence].
“I fought Deontay Wilder first and that was with an injured ankle and still I hurt him, split some rounds with him and took him into the 9th-round. So no-one can say I cannot go anywhere to fight anyone and not be competitive. I can compete with any fighter in the world. So Joshua, yeah, whenever he’s ready. I’d love to fight in England, it would be a dream come true. I also told the Polish people how I’d love to fight there again and there is talk of me fighting Artur Szpilka. So if nothing comes up with the Joshua fight, I’ll probably be heading back to Poland. But I’ll fight anyone. There was talk that the Kubrat Pulev [Dereck] Chisora winner would fight either me or Adamek. So I’ll come and fight Chisora in England! I’m not a protected heavyweight, like some guys are. It’s just me and no-one can let me down. A lot of US heavyweights turned down the Adamek fight because it was too dangerous. I actually want to fight outside of the US, because I think I fight better on the road!”
Q Does the idea of a “revenge” win over Chris Arreola, who beat you inside a round back in 2012, appeal to you?
E.M: “I’ve actually been begging for a Chris Arreola rematch for over three years. I’ve called and called and they said, ‘no, no, no.’ They’re not interested. You cannot compare the Eric Molina of four years ago with today. I would kick his ass! But in all honesty, in today’s heavyweight division, Arreola is irrelevant. I’m looking at fighting guys above him, or guys who beat him. I’m the representative of the Mexican-Americans, not him. He’s a bum, who has been disrespectful. I would destroy him. I represent the Mexican-Americans the way they need to be represented.”
Q: And that is a big goal of yours also, to make history as the first person of Mexican descent to ever win the world heavyweight title?
E.M: “That’s my whole goal, yes. I’ve shown my Mexican heart. I started [my pro career] with a loss, I’ve been stopped, and I’ve come back. A lot of people would have given up. I’ll keep proving myself again and again and I’ll keep on pressing forward. Nobody can ever count me out of any fight.”