Anthony Joshua extended his perfect record to 18-0 with 18 knockouts in a dominating defense of his IBF Heavyweight World Championship over American challenger Eric Molina Saturday on SHOWTIME from Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
Joshua floored Molina with a huge left in the third, leaving the Texas native crumpled in the corner. Molina looked dazed and barely beat the count, but he was again in trouble and defenseless seconds later, forcing the referee to halt the contest at 2:02.
After the fight, Matchroom Sport managing direction Eddie Hearn announced that Joshua will make the third defense of his title on April 29 against long-reining heavyweight kingpin Wladimir Klitschko at London’s Wembley Stadium.
“Disaster avoided tonight,” Joshua said. “He started off teeing off with some haymakers early on. There are not too many tactics he can do. It’s hard for him to come in and fight when you aren’t giving him any options. Someone who is boxing with you can give you options, but someone who is boxing on his back feet cannot.”
“This is the start of my story and there will be many more things to come when I step into this ring. I’m not one to talk and I’m not one to mess around, but if I did start talking I think people would find out what I’m all about. I’ve stayed consistent and I’ve stayed patient and I’m still undefeated.”
“We are moving into a huge arena (Wembley). He’s a very respectful man outside of the ring, and he’s very competitive in the ring. This is the step up people have wanted. Klitschko wants his belts back and may the best man win.”
Said Klitschko: “He is the best man in the heavyweight division and his record speaks for itself. This is the fight that the fans want and that is why this fight will happen.”
“Do you want to see a big fight? Do you want to see a fight where two Olympic champs are involved? Do you want to see the fight between A.J. and W.K.? You got it.”