Anthony Joshua, Nigerian-born British Heavyweight boxer, will defend his IBF world title against American Eric Molina on December 10. The announcement ends weeks of speculation over Joshua’s next opponent after a prospective bout against Wladimir Klitschko was scuppered by a combination of boxing politics and a minor injury sustained by the Ukrainian.
The 34-year-old Texan has won 25 of his 28 career bouts and stretched WBC champion Deontay Wilder to the ninth round before being stopped in June last year.
Joshua said: “I am pleased that everything is now set for December 10 and I can concentrate on getting the business done in the ring.
“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 (Tomasz) Adamek in Poland.
“I’m expecting this to be the toughest fight of my career so far and I will be ready for an all-out war.” Joshua beat Dominic Breazeale in seven rounds in his last fight in June, having won the title over a woefully outclassed Charles Martin two months earlier.
If Molina does not represent the big-name draw he was hoping for, he will at least provide a direct comparison to a potential future foe in Wilder.
Molina, who earned his shot after an impressive stoppage of an admittedly fading Adamek in Krakow, said: “There is no heavyweight in the world who has bounced back like I have.
“That’s the man that Joshua faces on December 10 and that man is a very dangerous one. “I’m confident. These types of fights don’t shake me up. I’m a very strong mental fighter. I know exactly what to do, mentally and physically, to go out there and perform.”
Former world title challenger, Dereck Chisora, continues his quest to return to the title picture as he takes on former Joshua foe Dillian Whyte for the British heavyweight title.