WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder doesn’t necessarily believe that he has his hands full this weekend against Eric Molina but is concentrating more on putting in a performance that will keep the Alabama fans coming back.
Wilder lays his green belt on the line for the first time since dethroning Bermane Stiverne earlier this year and hopes to impress sufficiently enough at the 8,500 capacity Bartow Arena in Birmingham to move on to much bigger venues in his hometown.
‘The Bronze Bomber’ has also lifted the lid on the selection process for choosing his voluntary challenger – as plenty of eyebrows were raised across the boxing spectrum when Molina’s name was announced for Wilder’s homecoming celebration.
“We have a lot of other opponents, but Molina was the one to understand the opportunity that lies at hand. Some people can price themselves out and some teams make it so difficult that the fight won’t happen. They can really block themselves out from getting the fight. You can have the money or the opportunity. Molina understands what the situation is, and he stepped up to the plate and understands the opportunity at hand to be the World Heavyweight Champion,” said Wilder.
“I haven’t heard from Molina but that’s good, that means he’s focused. I want him to come very focused. I know he’s going to be nervous and scared, but they say if you back a rabbit in a corner, they fight back.
“I’m most dangerous when I’m at home. I’m not going to let down my home crowd and let someone take what I’ve worked so hard for. He’s not going to come behind enemy lines and take anything from me.
“I want a great performance from him. I want a great performance for the crowd and people to say, ‘Hey, I want to come back for the next one!’ and to be hungry for the next one. We got a lot of fights we want to do in Alabama, and this is just the start. I want to move on from Bartow to the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC), which is bigger than the MGM Grand,” he added.
A win for knockout artist Wilder will mean a much sterner test against ex-WBA title holder Alexander Povetkin towards the back end of 2015 as the Russian made light work of an out-of-sorts Mike Perez in a recent eliminator.
Talk of a unification with the all-conquering Wladimir Klitschko is on hold until both come through their stipulated mandatories against Povetkin and Tyson Fury respectively, but could be the blockbuster fight of 2016 if it comes to fruition.