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Joshua needs win over Molina to get Klitschko


By Scott Gilfoid: IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (17-0, 17 KOs) one last obstacle in front of him in Eric Molina (25-3, 19 KOs) before he faces 40-year-old Wladimir Klitschko on April 29, 2017. According to ESPN, the Joshua-Klitschko fight is a done deal. The Joshua-Klitschko fight will take place at the 80,000 seat Wembley Stadium in London, UK.

It would be funny as heck if Joshua loses to Molina. He’s supposed to be just an opponent for this fight, but you know how that goes. Molina is the B-side in the equation on Saturday. In other words, Molina is not supposed to win. There’s too much at stake. Molina isn’t going to let it to go the cards.

Either he knocks Joshua out or he gets knocked out. Believe me, this is one fight where the judges will play a factor in the final results.

The only thing that could keep that fight from taking place is the 34-year-old Molina if he can beat Joshua this Saturday night on December 10 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. Joshua, 27, is expected to beat Molina without any problems, as he was hand-picked from the No.8 spot in the IBF’s rankings for the fight.

To show you how cautious Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn was in wanting to make sure they found someone who couldn’t beat Joshua, they picked Molina, who was already knocked out by WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in 2015. It really takes a lot of imagination to select a guy that was knocked out just three fights ago.

Molina did win his last fight against 40-year-old Tomas Adamek last April in a 10th round knockout, but he had to rally to beat him. Adamek was EASILY beating Molina up until the time that he scored the knockout. That’s obviously not a good sign. If you’re hoping to see a competitive fight this Saturday night between Joshua and Molina, then don’t bother watching video of Molina’s fight against Adamek.

You might wind up depressed. Molina looked dreadful until he got the knockout. It was terrible watching how timid, lethargic and lackluster Molina was in that fight. The way that Molina fought Adamek, I really can’t see him making it out of the 1st round against Joshua. It’s no skin off my teeth, because I’m not the one that will be buying the fight on Sky Box Office pay-per-view. But for the boxing fans that purchase the fight thinking it’s going to be a great match-up, I hope they’re not crying crocodile tears afterwards when it turns out to be a mismatch.

Wladimir’s manager Bernd Boente said this to about the Joshua vs. Klitschko fight on April 29:

“We have reached an agreement for the fight and everything is fine. Eddie and I have had very smooth and constructive negotiations from the beginning,” Boente said. “The most important step now is that Anthony Joshua wins his title fight on Saturday.”

If Joshua loses to Molina, it’s going to be real disaster, because there’s a TON of money to be made in the Joshua vs. Klitschko fight. Both fighters will make boatloads of money if the fight takes place. Molina, 34, will be in the role of a spoiler on Saturday. He can ruin Joshua’s big fight against Wladimir by knocking him out. You can bet that Molina will be swinging for the fences to try and get Joshua out of there.

Molina obviously won’t be able to get the huge Wembley Stadium fight if he knocks Joshua out, but he will likely get a big money fight against Klitschko. It would probably take place in Germany, where Wladimir fights most of the time. They could put it in a large football stadium, and it would be a big money fight for Molina.

It’s unclear if Joshua has a rematch clause against Molina. I can’t imagine Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn not having a rematch clause for the fight, given that Molina isn’t a mandatory challenger and he’s only ranked #8 by the International Boxing Federation.

“If it happens, then we have to deal with it,” Boente said about what would happen if Joshua loses to Molina. “Wladimir is fine that the fight is in the U.K. because he loves the challenge and he loves that everybody in the stadium will be against him,” Boente said.

As far as the Joshua vs. Klitschko fight goes, it’s hard for me to get excited about that fight. By the time the two heavyweights fight each other, Wladimir will have been out of the ring for a year and a half. Wladimir last fought in November 2015 in losing to Tyson Fury by a 12 round unanimous decision. Wladimir looked terrible in that fight.

Many boxing fans thought the 40-year-old Wladimir looked like a shot fighter. I wouldn’t disagree with that. I thought he looked shot too. As bad as Wladimir looked against Fury, I do not see him being able to beat Joshua. I also don’t think Wladimir can beat the other top heavyweights in the division like Luis Ortiz, Deontay Wilder, Andy Ruiz Jr., Joseph Parker, David Haye, Alexander Povetkin, Bermane Stiverne, Carlos Takam, Lucas Browne or even Hughie Fury. Yeah, I know Wladimir beat Haye and Povetkin in the past, but that was a while ago. Wladimir has aged, and his punch accuracy and his ability to let his hands go have diminished in my opinion. I think all those guys now beat Wladimir.

With Wladimir not taking a tune-up to get the rust out from his long layoff, I think it’s pretty much impossible to see him beating Joshua. Wladimir has EVERTHING going against him in a fight against Joshua.

Wladimir has been inactive, he’s old, he’s coming off of a loss to Tyson Fury, and his punch accuracy has gone way downhill. Wladimir can’t pull the trigger on his shots. That’s got to be Wladimir’s biggest problem. He doesn’t let his hands go like he used to. If Wladimir just stands around inside the ring with Joshua, he’ll get knocked out sooner or later. My guess is Wladimir will get knocked out quick. His chin has never been the sturdiest of the heavyweights, and he’s going to be getting nailed by Joshua with lefts and right hands. I just can’t see anything good coming of this fight for Wladimir.

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