Filip Hrgovic vs. Eric Molina on Dec.7 in Saudi Arabia
By Jeff Aronow: 2016 Olympic super heavyweight bronze medalist Filip Hrgovic (9-0, 7 KOs) will be fighting former two-time world title challenger Eric Molina (27-5, 19 KOs) on December 7 on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. rematch in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Filip Hrgovic ranked in top 15 already
Hrgovic is ranked #7 WBA, #10 WBC and #12 IBF. He’s been given his high ranking based on wins over these fighters:
- Raphael Zumbano
- Pavel Sour
- Tom Little
- Sean Turner
- Filberto Tovar
- Amir Mansour
- Kevin Johnson
- Gregory Corbin
- Mario Heredia
This fight for the 6’6″ Hrgovic represents a big step up in class from the opposition that his promoters at Matchroom Boxing have been putting him in with. Hrgovic has been brought along slowly since turning pro in 2017.
Normally when a fighter has Olympic experience, they’re moved fast, but not the case with Hrgovic. As a professional, Hrgovic is fighting guy that are well below the level of opposition that he faced in the amateur ranks.
Molina will have a puncher’s chance
With Molina’s punching power, he can never be counted out fully against anyone. He staggered Deontay Wilder in their fight in 2015, and he’s stopped a lot of other notable fighters.
The 37-year-old Eric Molina has three times in the past four years in defeats to Dominic Breazeale, Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua. He’s been beaten by the top level fighters, and he’s done a good job of defeating the lower level guys that he was expected to beat.
In Molina’s last fight, he defeated journeyman Nick Guivas by a six-round unanimous decision last February. Molina stopped former Tomas Adamek (53-6, 31 KOs) in the 10th round in 2016. That was a big win for Molina, as it set him up for a world title shot against former IBF heavyweight champion Joshua in December 2016.
Hrgovic will get a lot of visibility on December 7th Saudi card
This is Hrgovic’s chance to impress the casual boxing world, and get some badly needed attention by dispatching Molina in quick fashion. Joshua stopped Molina in the 3rd round in 2016, whereas Deontay Wilder needed 9 rounds to stop him in 2015. If Hrgovic can knockout Molina quicker than those two fighters, he’ll make a statement to the boxing world that he’s going to be a force in the division.
The 6’6′, 240 lb Hrgovic has the size to go far in the heavyweight division, but he needs to prove that he can hang with the top dogs. In the amateur ranks, the wheels would come off Hrgovic when he would step it up against fighters like Roberto Cammarelle, Tony Yoka and Ivan Dychko. Those guys exposed flaws in Hrgovic’s game in terms of his wide open defense. Hrgovic is a good puncher, but he’s easy to hit, and he’s robotic. Some boxing fans compare Hrvovic to Wladimir Klitschko, and they him as a slow version of the former heavyweight champion.