By Scott Gilfoid: British boxing fans will get the opportunity to see the June 13th title defense by WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (33-0, 32 KOs) against his #9 WBC challenger Eric Molina (23-2, 17 KOs) in a fight that will be televised by Sky Sports in the UK.
The Wilder-Milina fight will be taking place at the Bartow Arena, in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. It’s a fight that is also being televised in the United States on Showtime Boxing.
The reason why the Wilder-Molina is interesting fight for British fight fans to see is that the 6’7” Wilder could be someone that unbeaten #6 WBC Anthony Joshua (13-0, 13 KOs) winds up facing a year or two down the road if Joshua can keep progressing at the pace that he’s doing. Of course, Joshua will need to fight against a top heavyweight to become Wilder’s WBC mandatory challenger before he gets a shot at his title. That means that Joshua will likely need to beat someone that actually throws punches back at him like Alexander Povetkin, Vyacheslav Glazkov or Bermane Stiverne. That’s going to be a new thing for Joshua because many of his opponents that his promoter Eddie Hearn has been putting him in with haven’t really been putting up much resistance in terms of throwing shots. For his part, Wilder will need to keep winning long enough to face Joshua. Wilder will need to beat Molina, Povetkin and possibly even Tyson Fury before he can get to a title defense against Joshua in a year or two. By then, we’ll know if Wilder is for real or not. I suspect he’ll win all of his title defenses in flying colors based on size, speed, punching power, mobility and overall talent.
Molina, 6’4”, presents an interesting obstacle for Wilder in that he’s big, rangy and powerful. Molina has looked nothing short of sensational in his last six fights in winning them all since his loss to Chris Arreola in 2012. Molina has made a lot of progress since the Arreola fight, and you can arguably say he’s a completely different fighter now compared to then. At 33, Molina is more rounded heavyweight than he was when he was blitzed by Arreola, and he’s clearly not the same fighter that was blown out in that fight.
Wilder will need to bring his A-game on June 13th if he wants to get out of the ring at the Bartow Arena with his WBC heavyweight title still in his possession. Wilder will be looking to start a new KO streak. His previous one was interrupted by former WBC champion Bermane Stiverne last January when Wilder was forced to go the full 12 rounds due to him suffering a fracture of his right metacarpal bone in his hand in the 4th round of that fight. Without his powerful right hand, Deontay had to be content with boxing his way to a wide decision.