MEXICAN-American Eric Molina, 25-3(19) will face Anthony Joshua in his second shot at a world title on December 10 in Manchester. Having lost to WBC king Deontay Wilder in a spirited effort last year, Molina is determined to get the win this time.
Congratulations on getting the big fight with Joshua. You said before that it would be a dream come true for you to box in England – you must be thrilled to be doing that and getting a second world title shot?
Eric Molina: “Thank you, yes. I had a feeling for quite a few weeks that this fight would come my way. I have been anticipating it, and training, getting ready every day in the gym. I’m ready to take that IBF world title. I know what I can do [in this fight] and I know what I will be bringing into the ring. I don’t fear Joshua, he has never before fought anyone like me – someone who can hit and hurt him at any single moment during the fight.”
Q: You had relatively little time to get ready for your WBC title fight with Wilder. You have had much more notice this time then?
E.M: “Yes, like I said, I’ve been grinding, putting in the work for weeks now. For the Wilder fight, I had just 35 days notice. But this now is a great fight, I feel I have way more experience [than when I was going into the Wilder fight]. I have been in these type of fights before, where I’ve fought in the other guy’s home country; like when I stopped [Tomasz] Adamek in Poland. I am so fit and healthy and ready for this – I know I can and will bring a great fight.”
Q: In your opinion, is Joshua a better, more talented fighter than Wilder?
E.M: “That’s to be determined. But look at what I did in the fight with Wilder: I got up from four knockdowns, I hit him and hurt him, and I fought with one ankle for a number of those rounds. I injured my ankle during the fight. Now, I’m fully healthy, I’ve had enough time, maybe even more than enough, and I’m so ready!”
Q: You told me you knew Joshua-Klitschko would not happen this December. What made you think that?
E.M: “Well, I never had any inside knowledge or anything like that. I just felt that a fight like that would take a lot longer to make, it needed more time. Also, I had a feeling Lady Luck was on my side, that the fight was going to be mine. And I do feel a lot of the other heavyweights are running scared from Joshua. I never thought [David] Price would fight Joshua.”
Q: If you beat Joshua, the sky is the limit for you, would you then look to fight Klitschko? Will it be your aim to try and unify the division, so a return with Wilder?
“At the moment, I can only look at this fight. I have to be, and I am, 100-percent focused, with tunnel vision. But of course I’ll look at the big, big fights after this fight, which is huge, is over and done with.”
Q: Do you see a slugfest or a boxing match?
E.M: “I see a great fight! We’re going to see Joshua and his chin and heart tested. I know what I’ve been through in my career, things no-one else knows. There is no way this fight will be boring.”
Q: Critics point to your loss to Arreola and say Joshua can also stop you quickly. You have improved so much since then?
E.M: “Oh, the Arreola fight! For that, which was almost five years ago, I had just three weeks to get ready, and aside from that, I wasn’t right mentally for that fight – I was no near ready and I shouldn’t have taken it. I’m much better now, a totally different fighter. If they [the critics and Team-Joshua] are judging me by that fight only, they are in for a big surprise. I was only 219-pounds for that fight. Now, I’m bigger, in better condition and I’m stronger, and I have the experience, not just in fights but in sparring big guys in the gym. Like I’ve told you before, every single fighter I’ve ever been in with, including the guys who beat me, I have hurt. I plan to use some of the things I’ve seen from Joshua [and his style of fighting] and exploit certain things.
“Like I say, I’ve wanted this fight for a long time and I’ve been ready for it for a while also. I’ve said to you guys, who have really supported me, how I wanted to fight in the UK. I actually think I perform better away from home. I’m bringing it all on December 10!”