Deontay Wilder to meet Eric Molina in world heavyweight title defence on June 13
WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (33-0, 32 KOs) will make his first title defence against Eric Molina (23-2, 17 KOs) on june 13 in his hometown at the Bartow Arena, in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.
Wilder, 29, went into his world title shot against Bermane Stiverne in January with tons of questions to answer having never been extended past four rounds while knocking out overmatched opposition. However, he dominated the tough Stiverne for the full 12 round distance, overcoming a fractured right hand he suffered in the early rounds, on the way to a lopsided decision win and become the first American to win a heavyweight title since Shannon Briggs in 2006.
The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist will now step back in competition to the level he was at before he won the belt. But this is a kind of stay busy fight for Wilder while he waits to fight the winner of the title-eliminator between Alexander Povetkin and Mike Perez on May 22. The Bronze Bomber didn’t have to fight anyone before the Povetkin-Perez winner.
Molina, 33, wants to make history in becoming the first Mexican heavyweight world champion. Although that seems very unlikely given he was demolished in one round by Chris Arreola just three years ago.
But he has done a good job of coming back from that defeat and stopped his last three opponents - Raphael Zumbano Love, Theo Kruger and DaVarryl Williamson.
So while Molina has the punching power to make this an interesting fight, that will not make much difference when the 6’7” champion lands his big shots.