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Joshua vs Molina prediction: A straight right to the title?

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Will fans witness an upet next weekend when IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (17-0, 17 KO) faces tough guy challenger Eric Molina (25-3, 19 KO)?

So who is Eric Molina? And isn't he just a tune-up for Joshua?

For starters, Molina is, in fact, supposed to be a 'stay busy' opponent for the IBF Champ who is seeking megafighs with Wladimir Klitschko, Deontay Wilder, David Haye and Joseph Parker.

But Eric Molina, ranked by BoxRec as the No. 2 American heavyweight, is no slouch and he boasts a sneaky right hand that may be one of the biggest weapons in the heavyweight division.

Eric has shown against fighters who were easier targets that he can land the punch effectively when sneaking it behind a jab, as a lead punch and from long
range and close quarters.

Joshua vs Molina
Saturday, December 10

Division: Heavyweight
Titles: IBF
Champion: Joshua

Fans might remember when Molina faced Chris Arreola in a very short but explosive WBC eliminator on Showtime in 2012. In the opening round, Molina rocked Arreola with a clean overhand right but could not close the show as Arreola's superior experience enabled him to weather the storm and violently knockout his foe moments later.

"Texas has every reason to be proud of Molina tonight," professed Chris Arreola afterwards.

"He is a very tough fighter who has a lot of power. He caught me with an overhand right that woke me up."

And last year, Molina appeared to have 'woken up' WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (then 33-0, 32 KO) as well.

The rugged challenger, with Wilder perhaps too focused on the right hand, unleashed a massive left hook that staggered Deontay. In fact, Molina seemed to have Wilder frustrated on several occasions. Wilder, of course, would go on to score a 9th Round stoppage but despite his four knockdowns of Molina, it probably wasn't the showcase Team Wilder had hoped for.

Joshua vs Molina prediction

Not many, if any at all, predict Molina will orchestrate the upset. Skills, power and athleticism are certainly on the champion's side.

Look for Eric Molina to attempt to create opportunities to drop his sneaky right hand. If he can find a home for that shot, things could get interesting. Also, if Joshua is too pre-occupied with Molina's right, don't be surprised if the challenged attempts home run volleys with his left hook.

Projection: Molina won't land clean enough to stop or floor Joshua but Eric's right hand and defensive cageyness will be enough to make it competitive for awhile.

Joshua KO 7 Molina

Wilder vs Molina highlights


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