Undefeated IBF Heavyweight World Champion Anthony Joshua (17-0, 17 KOs) and challenger Eric Molina (25-3, 19 KOs) went face-to-face recently at the press conference in London to formally announce their heavyweight world title fight on Saturday, Dec. 10, live on SHOWTIME from Manchester Arena in Manchester.
There were 17,000 tickets sold on the first day to purchase tickets.
Joshua, a British sensation and the 2012 Olympic Games heavyweight gold medalist, will be making the second defense of the title he won over Charles Martin last April 4. Joshua knocked out previously unbeaten Dominic Breazeale in the seventh round last June 25 in his initial defense.
Molina will be getting his second opportunity at a world title. Molina has won two straight since challenging WBC title holder Deontay Wilder in 2015, including a 10th-round TKO over former world champion Tomasz Adamek last April 4 in Poland.
At the presser, Joshua spoke about his opponent with the usual respect and wasn’t worried about being out of action for eight months.
“I don’t think that I’ll be rusty. I’m not going to say camp is smooth or great because it’s always tough and exhausting for the body. I needed a break because I live in the gym, it’s what I’ve been doing since I was 18 and I haven’t taken my foot off the gas since. The task is to express myself under the bright lights in the arena and show what we’ve worked on in the dark corners of the gym.
“It takes courage to step into the ring. Deontay Wilder is known as a one-punch KO artist and Eric stood up to his power, so it shows that he’s here to push the champion and take my title.
“There’s a lot at stake and with Sky Sports and SHOWTIME behind us, this is a big stage to show what you have got. I’m serious about what I do and about moving forward. I don’t have a script, I can only speak from the heart; whatever Eric’s destiny is, that’s what will happen on the night.
“If his destiny is to become heavyweight champion, so be it. But my destiny is to carry on the path I am on and put in a dominant performance on an explosive night of boxing in Manchester.”