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Joshua-Molina & Whyte-Chisora on December 10


By Scott Gilfoid: Well, it’s now official that IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will be defending his strap against #8 IBF contender Eric Molina on December 10th at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. A good fight, this is not. It’s a nice mismatch, and rate it as a worse mismatch than Joshua’s recent dreadful fight against fringe contender Dominic Breazeale last June at the O2 in London.

The boxing fans don’t seem to be greeting the news of the Joshua-Molina fight with happiness. In looking at the various forums on the Internet, the fans seem pretty angry about the Joshua vs. Molina fight, as they see it largely as a mismatch. The fact that the fight is on pay-per-view is a little disturbing for me.

It’s hard to know why Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn picked the 34-year-old recently knocked out Molina for Joshua’s opponent instead of someone good. All I can think of is Molina was selected was for the same reason that Breazeale was picked out for Joshua last time.

In other words, to make sure that Joshua wins the fight and looks good in doing so. There’s no risk involved if all Joshua is going to be matched against are fringe contenders with limited talent. I guess the only reason why Molina was picked was to please Showtime Boxing, who has a multi-fight contract with Molina.

If I was one of the top brass at Showtime, I would not green light televising a fight between Joshua and Molina. I would skip televising that fight, and wait until Joshua faces someone good in order to televise it to the U.S fans. If Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn believes that Eric Molina is a household name in the U.S with the casual boxing fans, then he’s mistaken. The casual fans don’t know who Molina is.

Obviously, the hardcore boxing fans know Molina, and they know him by him getting knocked out in one round by Chris Arreola in 2012 and in 9 rounds by Deontay Wilder in 2015. I guess that makes Molina well known at least with the hardcore fans in America, but not in a good sense. I mean, when you’re well known for having been knocked out, then what does that tell you? It tells me that Hearn is putting Joshua in a showcase fight by matching him against a guy that he’ll not only beat, but beat with easy in a dominating manner.

The only real intrigue involved in the Joshua-Molina fight is to see whether Joshua can blast Molina out faster than Deontay did. Wilder seemed to be toying with Molina in knocking him down four times before stopping him. Even if Joshua flattens Molina in the 1st round, it’s still not going to mean anything, because he was already knocked out in one round by Arreola in 2012. Of course, only hardcore boxing fans will remember that. The casual fans won’t have a clue. Their first experience at seeing Molina fight will be against Joshua, and they might be impressed if Joshua can flatten him quickly, because they won’t know that Arreola already did it. I won’t be impressed, and that’s the main thing.

I’m still waiting for Joshua to fight his first talented contender or champion in the pro ranks. The last time that Joshua fought a good fighter was in 2012, when he won a controversial gold medal against Italy’s Roberto Camarelle. That was the last time Joshua fought a good opponent. Indeed, Joshua also won a controversial decision over Cuba’s Erislandy Savon in the same Olympics. He also beat Kazakhstan’s Ivan Dychko by a controversial 13-11 score. I had Dychko winning that fight. I thought Joshua also lost to China’s Zhang Zhilei by a controversial 15-11 decision. My point is, Joshua hasn’t faced good opposition since winning a controversial gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics, and that trend of weak match-making is continuing with hi now defending against the recently knocked out Eric Molina.

Joshua had this to say about his fight against Molina:

“I am pleased that everything is now set for December 10 and I can concentrate on getting the business done in the ring,” said Joshua. “There has been plenty of talk about who I may face but all I’m doing is concentrating on finishing Molina in style and putting on a great show. Every fight is dangerous in this division and this is no exception. I saw Molina have a great fight with Wilder and he is now coming off a strong KO win against Adamek in Poland.”

I wouldn’t say that Molina’s fight against Deontay Wilder was a “great fight,” as Joshua calls it. Molina was knocked down four times in the fight by Wilder, who was coming off of a broken hand injury that limited his ability to throw right hands in that fight. Wilder wasn’t hitting Molina with full force with his right hand, and yet he kept dropping him. The fight was actually boring. it was not action-packed.

In Molina’s last fight, he beat 40-year-old Tomas Adamak by a 10th round knockout last April. Molina looked timid throughout until the 10th. Molina was getting dominated by a past his prime Adamek, and it was sad to see because he looked frightened. Adamek was ahead by the scores 88-82, 88-83 and 88-83. I agree with those scores. Adamak had a commanding lead at the time he was stopped in the 10th. It doesn’t say much about Molina that he was getting whipped by an old guy like Adamek. But it says even less about Joshua that he’s chosen to fight Molina.

The chief support for the Joshua-Molina fight is a heavyweight domestic affair between Dillian Whyte (19-1, 15 KOs) and former heavyweight world title challenger Dereck Chisora (26-6, 18 KOs). Whyte will be defending his British heavyweight title. This would have been a good fight before Whyte suffered a shoulder injury a year ago. It’s not a great fight now though, because Whyte’s left shoulder isn’t what it once was, and he’s now pretty much a one-handed fighter who uses mainly just his right hand. Before the injury, Whyte had one of the most powerful left hooks in boxing. It’s too bad.

Also on the card is World Boxing Association super flyweight champion Luis Conception (35-4, 24 KOs) defending his title against unbeaten #10 WBA Khalid Yafai (20-0, 14 Kos) in a toss-up fight. The 27-year-old Yafai is one of Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn’s fighters, and he sees him as being good enough to beat the 31-year-old Conception. I think Yafai might win on size alone for this fight, but not on talent or punching power. I rate Conception as a better fighter with more power. Yafai is just a guy that is absolutely huge looking for the super flyweight division. Yafai isn’t a big puncher, and he’s not all that fast of hand.

It’s kind of hilarious that Yafai is so confident about winning this fight against Conception, and then moving on to face the bigger names in the super flyweight division like Roman Gonzalez and Carlos Cuadras. Yafai seems like a decent fighter, but in no way does he look good enough to hang with Roman Gonzalez or Cuadras. Those guys are at a different level in my opinion. I’m talking a WAY higher level. It’ll be a good payday for Yafai if he ever faces them, but I see it ending badly for him. It won’t matter where the fights take place, because I see Gonzalez and Cuadras beating Yafai convincingly enough to where there would be no chance of a controversial decision.

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