Exclusive: Eric Molina confirms Anthony Joshua talks, aims to test new champion

Sumio Yamada

Texas heavyweight Eric Molina says he would relish the opportunity to come to England and take on Anthony Joshua, after being named as a frontrunner to face the IBF world champion on June 25 at London’s O2 Arena.

Joshua (16-0, 16 KO) won the title earlier this month when he stopped Charles Martin inside two rounds and promoter Eddie Hearn has since declared his intention to next put his charge in with an IBF-ranked American fighter, naming either Molina or Dominic Breazeale as the likely opponent.

Molina (25-3, 19 KO) – who lost to Deontay Wilder in his only world title challenge to date – is the more experienced of the pair and is coming off a career best stoppage win over Poland’s Tomasz Adamek.

In both those fights, Molina was the away fighter and the 33-year old is happy to play that role again and travel to Joshua’s hometown.

“I am definitely interested in the Joshua fight and it would be great to fight in England. The atmospheres are much more exciting than here in the United States. Not too many American heavyweights are willing to hit the road these days, but I did it against Wilder and Adamek and have done it most of my career – I prefer fighting outside of the USA,” Molina exclusively told World Boxing News in an interview this weekend.

“The Adamek win was massive for me and it decided whether I was just going to be a journeyman or be a contender again. The heavyweight division is thriving at the minute and now the big fights can come my way, including Joshua.

“Eddie Hearn has been in contact with my promoter Don King and there have already been negotiations for the contest, but nothing is concrete yet. June 25 would be a quick turnaround for me and my second world title fight in what has been a busy year, but these are the fights I want to be involved in.”

Following Olympic success in 2012, Joshua’s record remains a perfect one in the professional ranks and Molina is well aware of the champion’s credentials.

“Joshua is athletic, has great size and a great background with amateur experience – Let’s be real, he’s got everything,” Molina said. “The hype is justified around him and he brings a great package to the table; a humble guy and a role model within his country – You have to respect what he is doing.

“What we haven’t seen though Is what he will be like in the late rounds and we haven’t seen him be hit hard. He hasn’t had to think inside the ring yet. Once we see how he reacts in those situations, we will know how good he is and will be.”

Matt Horan is lead writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @mhoran123