Wilder knocks Molina out in nine
WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (34-0, 33 KOs) knocked out Eric Molina (23-3, 17 KOs) in the ninth round on Saturday night in his hometown at Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.
The 6’7” champion knocked down the American challenger four times on the way to the KO victory.
However, underdog Molina did better than expected and had his moments, hurting Wilder with a left hook in the third round. But Wilder's punches sent him down in the fourth and twice in the fifth.
Molina battled back in the following rounds before the final big blow. Wilder floored him with a devastating right hand and referee Jack Reiss waved off the fight without a count at 1:03 of the ninth round.
Also on the card, unbeaten Puerto Rican Jose Pedraza (20-0, 12 KOs) defeated Andrey Klimov (19-2, 9 KOs) of Russia, by a one-sided unanimous decision to win the vacant IBF super featherweight title.
Pedraza dominated the action throughout, landing punches from a southpaw and from an orthodox stance. Klimov tried to land his own punches and never stopped coming forward despite suffering a badly bruised and swollen face, but had little success while Pedraza was content to box carefully in the final few rounds. The judges scores were 119-109 and 120-108 twice.