Showtime Championship Boxing Preview: Anthony Joshua vs. Eric Molina, Cuellar vs. Mares, Charlo vs. Williams
By: William Holmes
Showtime will be televising three world title fights on Saturday from two separate locations. The first bout they will be showing is an IBF Heavyweight Title Bout between Anthony Joshua and Eric Molina in Manchester, England. Coincidentally, HBO will also be showing a heavyweight title bout around the same time.
The other two bouts they will be showing is a WBA Featherweight Title bout between Jesus Cuellar and Abner Mares, as well as a very intriguing IBF Junior Middleweight Title bout between Jermall Charlo and Julian Williams.
Two of the three bouts should be very competitive and intriguing bouts, with only the heavyweight bout having a clear and hands down favorite.
The following is a preview of all three world title bouts.
Anthony Joshua (17-0) vs. Eric Molina (25-3); IBF Heavyweight Title
Of the three world title fights that Showtime is televising, this is by far, the biggest mismatch.
Eric Molina is thirty four years old and seven years older than his opponent. He will be giving up three inches in reach and two inches in height. He also has three knockout losses and will be facing an opponent that has defeated every single boxer he’s faced as a professional by stoppage.
Molina does have nineteen knockouts, but he was unable to stop nine of his opponents.
Anthony Joshua has been very active in the past two years. He has already fought twice in 2016 and fought five times in 2015. Molina fought once in 2016 and three times in 2015.
Joshua has the edge in amateur experience. He won the gold medal in the Super Heavyweight division in 2012. Joshua will also be fighting in front of a friendly crowd in Manchester, England.
The only reason Molina is fighting Joshua is because he scored a huge upset over the veteran Tomasz Adamek in his last fight in Adamek’s home country of Poland. However, his list of notable victories is short. His biggest wins have come against Adamek, DaVarryl Williamson, and Tony Grano. He has lost, by stoppage, to Deontay Wilder, Chris Arreola, and Ashanti Jordan.
Joshua has defeated the likes of Dominic Breazeale, Charles Martin, Dillian Whyte, Gary Cornish, and Kevin Johnson.
Every single victory that Joshua has earned has come by way of stoppage. Every single loss that Molina has suffered has come by way of stoppage.
The expectations are that those trends will continue.
Jesus Cuellar (28-1) vs. Abner Mares (29-2-1); WBA Featherweight Title
Abner Mares has had recent issues with his eyes and it has been questioned if he should ever fight again.
Mares is a good boxer, but he’s a former bantamweight world champion and is likely fighting in a higher weight class than he should be.
Mares will be giving up an inch and a half in height to Jesus Cuellar and will be giving up two inches in reach. Cuellar also has the edge in power. He has twenty one stoppage victories, all at a higher weight class than what Mares is used to competing in. Mares’ power hasn’t followed him as he’s gone up in weight classes but he still has fifteen stoppage victories.
Mares is two years older than Cuellar, but has been in the ring with some of the best bantamweights the sport of boxing has to offer. His losses were to Leo Santa Cruz and Jhonny Gonzlaez. He has defeated the likes of Daniel Ponce De Leon, Jonathan Oquendo, Anselmo Moreno, Eric Morel, Joseph Agbeko, and Vic Darchinyan.
Cuellar hasn’t fought the same level of competition that Mares has fought as a professional, but he still has an impressive resume. He has defeated Jonathan Oquendo, Vic Darchinyan, Ruben Tamayo, Juan Manuel Lopez, and Rico Ramos. His lone loss was in 2011 to Oscar Escandon.
The biggest question mark about Cuellar on Saturday will be ring rust. He had no fights in 2016 and will be in the ring with an experienced opponent.
Mares does have the edge in amateur experience. Cuellar experienced some success in regional tournaments as an amateur, but Mares represented Mexico in the 2004 Olympics.
Mares career appears to be on the downside of his career. He’s good enough to make the fight competitive and close with Cuellar, but Cuellar is the naturally bigger boxer and should be considered the favorite.
Jermall Charlo (24-0) vs. Julian Williams (22-0-1); IBF Junior Middleweight Title
If you talk to anyone involved in the Philadelphia boxing scene, they will tell you that Julian “J-Rock” Williams is one of Philadelphia’s best boxers and has the potential to be a world champion.
That reputation may have hurt Williams’ chances at securing a title shot as he has been avoided by many the past two years, but he’ll get his first chance at a world title against a very dangerous champion.
Jermall Charlo, one half of the Charlo twins, is the same age as Williams but will have a one inch height and a one inch reach advantage over Williams. He also has more knockout victories. He has stopped eighteen of the boxers he’s faced while Williams has only stopped fourteen.
They both had good amateur careers, but neither can claim any international amateur success.
Charlo has the more impressive professional resume. He has defeated the likes of Austin Trout, Wilky Campfort, Cornelius Bundrage, and Antwone Smith. Two of Charlo’s past four fights were stoppage victories.
Williams has had trouble attracting a top name opponent into the ring with him, but he has beaten fighters such as Marcello Matano, Luciano Leonel Cuello, Joey Hernandez, Freddy Hernandez, and Joachim Alcine. However, William’s power appears to be improving as he has stop four of his past five opponents.
Everything on paper appears to suggest that Charlo should be the favorite on Saturday, but Williams has been avoided for a reason, and this writer believes Williams will win the IBF Junior Middleweight Title on Saturday.