Eric Molina: I know I can hurt Deontay Wilder
(Photo credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME) By Scott Gilfoid: It’s no secret that #9 WBC Eric Molina (23-2, 17 KOs) is seen as nothing more than a simple fodder opponent for WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (33-0, 32 KOs) to blast out in short order tonight when these two giant heavyweights go at it on Showtime at the Bartow Arena, in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.
But despite people seeing the 6’5” Molina as a knockout waiting to happen tonight, Molina says he’s extremely confident of winning because he feels he’s got the power top hurt the 29-year-old Deontay with his shots. With that said, Molina is going to have to hope that he can land his big shots before Wilder nails him with something huge first.
Believe me, if Wilder lands first, he’s going to end the fight in the 1st or 2nd round. As long as Wilder’s right hand has healed from the injury he suffered in his last fight against Bermane Stiverne, Wilder’s chances of obliterating Molina in the first couple of rounds are very, very good.
Molina, 33, doesn’t exactly have a steel chin like Stiverne, and that’s what you need in order to take the kind of power that Wilder has. We’re arguably talking about the biggest puncher in the heavyweight division right now when we talk about the 6’7” Deontay. The division hasn’t seen a puncher like that since Mike Tyson left the sport a decade ago.
”This fight, I’m the most confident I’ve ever been, and I’m not just saying that,” Molina said via Yahoo Sports. ”I’m confident. I know what I can do. I know that I can hurt somebody. I know that I’ve hurt many people, so I’m not questioning that coming into this fight. I can hurt this guy. I’m confident. I’m relaxed, and I’m focused. I’m ready to fight.”
Yeah, Molina definitely is a very good puncher with either hand. He’s someone that could in theory put Wilder down if he connects with something big in the first two rounds. But that’s really the only time that Molina is going to have to try and hurt Wilder I this fight. Because if Molina can’t get to Wilder by then, I don’t think Molina is going to be around for the later rounds to try and get him out of there. In other words, Wilder will likely land one of his big right hands in the first two rounds and send Molina into oblivion for the night.
This is really a showcase fight for Wilder. Molina is ranked #9 by the World Boxing Council, but he’s really in truth little more than a fringe contender when you look at all the heavyweight contenders combined as a whole instead of focusing on just the WBC’s own individual rankings.
I think there are easily 20 heavyweight contenders in the division that are better fighters than Molina, possibly even 30. But Molina does have very good punching power, if not a great chin. For that reason, Wilder has to take him very serious because if he gets sloppy in there tonight, he could wind up on his backside staring at the lights.
Wilder wants to look good so he can win over more fans, and move forward to the bigger fights against guys like Alexander Povetkin, Anthony Joshua [if his promoter Eddie Hearn will let him fight for a world title], and Wladimir Klitschko.
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