It was not the preferred plan, but IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has his next title defense signed and sealed.
Joshua will look to make his second title defense on Dec. 10 against Eric Molina in the wake of former dominant heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko getting injured. Joshua and Klitschko were looking to setup a big marquee matchup that itself was a plan in the wake of Tyson Fury dropping out of his rematch with Klitschko.
“I am pleased that everything is now set for Dec. 10 and I can concentrate on getting the business done in the ring,” Joshua said, via ESPN. “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 [Deontay] 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.”
Molina challenged WBC champ Wilder unsuccessfully in June 2015, but has since jumped back with two victories.
“There is no heavyweight in the world that has bounced back like I have,” Molina said. “That’s the man that Joshua faces on Dec. 10 and that man is a very dangerous one. He’ll fight the toughest Molina that anybody has ever seen, just like Adamek fought the toughest Molina.
“I’m confident. These type of fights don’t shake me up. I’m a very strong mental fighter. I know exactly what I’ve got to do to prepare myself in the amount of time. I know exactly what I’ve got to do, mentally, physically, to go there and perform. When you walk out into the atmosphere, half the battle is the mental battle, and if you can stay in the moment mentally you have a shot in any fight.”