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Anthony Joshua Takes Out Eric Molina: Fight Breakdown


Anthony Joshua Takes Out Eric Molina: Fight Breakdown
By: Phil Oscarson

Anthony Joshua took care of business against Eric Molina on December 11, 2016 with a third-round knockout win. The win sets him up for a massive showdown against Wladimir Klitschko. How did Joshua take out the hard-hitting veteran Molina? With patience and constant, effective pressure.

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How Joshua and Molina Matched Up

While both men are legitimate heavyweights with size and punching power, Joshua is the larger of the two, with a 2-inch height and 3-inch reach advantage. He won an Olympic gold medal and carried a perfect 17-0 record with 17 KO’s into the fight. Molina, in comparison, was 25-3, and he earned the matchup with Joshua based on his KO of Tomasz Adamek in a fight he was losing to that point.

The punch stats were certainly in Joshua’s favor, as they show he throws and lands more punches per round. For this and his superior track record, betting sites had Joshua as a big favorite coming into this match.

The Story of the Fight

Molina said after the fight that his plan was to weather the storm for the first three or four rounds. That was obvious in the first round, as he was content to sit along the ropes and defend against Joshua’s punches. The problem was that he offered little in the way of resistance. He would occasionally throw out a couple jabs, but for the most part, he was a sitting duck. He wasn’t attacking, he wasn’t countering, and all too often he stood directly in front of Joshua.

Joshua fought a smart fight, picking his spots and never getting overly aggressive. He used his jab often, and then feinted a jab to set up the left hook. When Molina covered up, he went downstairs and drilled him with right hands to the body. The few times Molina did attack, Joshua smoothly stepped back out of range, and then threw shots of his own. Towards the end of the first round, Joshua feinted the jab and nailed Molina with a beautiful left hook on the jaw, rocking the challenger.

In the second and third rounds, Molina opened up a bit more with his right hand. However, he never landed anything significant or threatening, and Joshua still controlled the majority of the action. Joshua also started incorporating the left uppercut in the second round, giving Molina something else to worry about, particularly when he ducked to avoid punches.

The Finish

With Joshua’s precision and Molina’s lack of offense, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before the fight ended. Midway through the third round, Joshua tested Molina with a couple feints before opening up with a flurry. Molina got pinned against the ropes, and Joshua unleashed a 2-3-2 (a straight right hand, a left hook, and another straight right hand). The first two punches missed, but the third was right on the money, and in this case Joshua only needed one. The brutal punch put Molina on his back against the ring post.

To his credit, Molina got up to fight on, but he was in survival mode and Joshua knew it. The IBF champion started opening up, and after a few particularly hard left hooks and left uppercuts, the referee mercifully jumped in to stop the fight.

It was a masterful performance for Joshua, who showcased his power, speed, and technical skills. However, he was also facing an opponent who was clearly overmatched from the opening bell. His next match against Wladimir Klitschko is a significant step up in competition, against a fellow Olympic gold medalist with far more experience. Of course, with that experience comes age, and Klitschko is undoubtedly on the downside of his career. He also won’t have his customary size advantage, which could present issues. Their match will determine if Joshua can take the next step on the road to being a superstar.

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Showtime Championship Boxing Preview: Anthony Joshua vs. Eric Molina, Cuellar vs. Mares, Charlo vs. Williams


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.

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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.

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Unification for the Heavyweight Division within Reach?


​Unification for the Heavyweight Division within Reach?
By: Eric Lunger

​With negotiations with Wladimir Klitschko fizzling out late last month, Eddie Hearn and Matchroom have announced that Anthony Joshua (17-0, 17 KO’s) will defend his IBF Heavyweight title against Eric Molina (25-3, 19 KO’s) of the United States on December 10th in Manchester, England, on Sky Sports PPV. The reaction in the British media was muted, with one prominent observer, John Dennen of Boxing News, characterizing Molina as “not an appealing replacement” for Klitschko.

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Molina, 34, most recently traveled to Poland and knocked out Tomasz Adamek (50-5, 30 KO’s) to win the vacant IBF Intercontinental heavyweight title. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the Molina matchup makes sense in two ways. First, Molina has traveled to his opponent’s home ground and boxed very well, making him an attractive candidate to travel to England to face a very popular Anthony Joshua in front of Joshua’s home fans. And second, let’s remember that Joshua is relatively young and inexperienced. With his undefeated record, his IBF title, and his potential earning power, it makes sense to let AJ face another good heavyweight before stepping into the ring with the hugely experienced Wladimir Klitschko.

​For their part, the WBA gave their blessing to the Joshua vs. Molina bout last week by granting “special permission” for Klitschko to fight Joshua, “at a date to be determined, with the WBA Super World heavyweight title at stake.” In short, the WBA is allowing Joshua a tune-up against Molina in order to sanction a future Joshua vs. Klitschko super-fight that would unify the WBA and IBF titles. Also in the wings is Luis Ortiz, (25-0, 22 KO’s), trained in Cuba but now based in Miami. The powerful and slick southpaw recently joined Matchroom, and is finally back in action this weekend against Malik Scott (38-2-1, 13 KO’s) for the WBA Intercontinental title.

That leaves WBC world champion Deontay Wilder (37-0, 36 KO’s) in an interesting and potentially advantageous position. Wilder, 31, won the belt in January of 2015 by defeating Bermane Stiverne in a 12 round unanimous decision. Since then, Deontay has racked up four successful title defenses, including a 9th round KO of Eric Molina in June of 2015. Most recently, Wilder stopped Chris Arreola in eight rounds in July of this year, breaking his right hand in that bout.

Tim Smith (vice president for communications at PBC, Wilder’s promoter) told me on Friday that the hand is healed and that Deontay is in the gym working out with both hands. Deontay is “staying ready and is on track” for whatever bout appears for him on the horizon.

​Right now, Deontay is planning to fight in the first quarter of 2017, according to Smith, and, as the belt holder, he “will abide” by whatever the WBC mandates. Inexplicably, the WBC currently ranks Alexander Povetkin of Russia as the number one contender (despite testing positive for meldonium last summer), and Stiverne as number two, essentially jumping the line ahead of several worthy contenders. Asked whether PBC’s newly announced big slate of fights, combined with Deontay’s popularity with American fans, could work to Deontay’s benefit in accelerating the path to unification, Smith’s optimism was tinged with a bit of skepticism: “This is boxing, if the fans made the fights, we would have a different slate of fights.”

Even so, Smith mused aloud on this scenario: if Joshua (IBF) defeats Molina as expected, and then takes on Klitschko in the first quarter of 2017 for the IBF and WBA Super, then Wilder (WBC) vs. that winner could unify three of the four major belts (IBF, WBC, and WBA). Pretty heady stuff, granted.

​That leaves the vacant WBO title. Joseph Parker (21-0, 18 KO’s) of New Zealand is reportedly set to face American Andy Ruiz, Jr. (29-0, 19KO’s) for the vacant title on December 10th. Parker, a dynamic and exciting fighter, but not especially well-known to US fans, is currently ranked first by the WBO, and Ruiz third.

​Think about it: a plausible path to three champions all with undefeated records. 17-0, 21-0, 37-0. Joshua, Parker, Wilder. England, New Zealand, USA.

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PBC on Fox Sports Results: Plant Cruises to Victory, Grayton and Gongora Win by TKO


PBC on Fox Sports Results: Plant Cruises to Victory, Grayton and Gongora Win by TKO
By: William Holmes

The Sands Bethlehem Events Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania was the host site for tonight’s broadcast of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox Sports 1.

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Three bouts were televised tonight, and the opening bout was between Carlos Gongora (5-0) and Ronald Mixon (7-0) in the light heavyweight division.

Mixon had a three inch in reach and height on Gongora, but both boxers were the same age. Gongora was a former two time Olympian for Ecuador.

Both boxers tried to feel each other out in the opening minute of the round, but Gongora was able to land a hard straight left hand by the ropes that momentarily stunned Mixon. Gongora followed that up with another straight left hand seconds later and Mixon dropped to the mat.

Mixon struggled to get back to his feet, but he was still clearly shot and struggled to even get to his knees. The referee waived off the fight 1:16 of the first round, giving Gongora a TKO victory.

The next bout was between Kareem Martin (8-0-1) and David Grayton (14-1) in the welterweight division.

Martin and Grayton were former sparring partners and they wasted no time in going after each other. Martin was the better defensive boxer and landed cleaner and harder counters. Grayton, a southpaw, had difficulty avoiding the counter rights of Martin.

Martin’s counter punching was on point in the second round and he was able to open up a cut over the right eye of Grayton. Grayton’s pressure was much more effective in the third round and he was able to walk through the punches of Martin.

There were some very good exchanges in the opening minute of fourth round, but Martin was able to land the harder shots. Martin showed more movement in the fifth round and was able to counter while avoiding risky exchanges.

Grayton came out firing at the start of the sixth round and had Martin backing up and holding on to try to slow the assault down. Martin was able to land a few hard shots, but Grayton took them well and kept up the intense pressure. Martin looked tired at the end of the round.

Grayton was told by his corner to walk Martin down before the start of the seventh round, and he responded to his corner with a high volume of punches to the body and head of Martin. Martin just could not keep up with Grayton.

Grayton jumped on Martin at the start of the eighth and scored a knockdown with a good left hand. Martin got back to his feet but was on wobbly legs and covered up while Grayton unleashed another combination on him.

Martin wasn’t able to answer and the referee jumped in and stopped the bout.

David Grayton defeats Kareem Martin by TKO at 0:41 of the eighth round.

A swing bout between Eric Newell (8-3-3) and Wes Triplett (3-1) in the heavyweight division was also shown. Wes Triplett won it by TKO at 0:27 of the third round.

Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant (13-0) squared off against Juan De Angel (18-4-1) in the main event of the night in the middleweight division.

Plant, a Tennessee native, established control of the center of the ring in the opening round and was able to pop shot De Angel with jabs and lead hooks. De Angel was not able to mount much of an offensive attack.

De Angel was a little more aggressive at the start of the second round, but a good left to the body by Plant quickly slowed down De Angel. Plant had De Angel backing up in the third round and his right hand was finding it’s target with regularity.

Plant’s pressure paid off in the fourth round when he scored a knockdown with a left hook to the jaw of De Angel. De Angel was able to get back up before the count of ten and was able to survive the round.

Plant looked extremely comfortable in the fifth round and was battering De Angel from corner to corner while deftly avoiding any counter shots. Plant continued to outbox De Angel in the sixth round and was never seriously threatened. He mixed up his combinations well to the body and head in the seventh round.

De Angel was in pure survival mode in the eighth round and rarely went on the offensive attack. The only question in the final two rounds of the fight was whether or not Plant could stop De Angel, but that stoppage never came.

Caleb Plant won comfortably on the judges scorecards with scores of 100-89 on all three scorecards.

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Pacquiao vs. Bradley and Joshua vs. Martin Weigh In Results


Pacquiao vs. Bradley and Joshua vs. Martin Weigh In Results
By: William Holmes

Tomorrow night HBO will present the third fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr. on Pay Per View. Across the pond a few hours earlier in the day Charles Martin will put on the line his IBF Heavyweight Title belt against former Olympic Gold Medalist Anthony Joshua at the 02 Arena in London, England live on Showtime.

Both of the cards held their weigh-ins today and the official weights are listed below.

HBO PPV Boxing Card

MPTB

WBO International Welterweight Championship
Manny Pacquiao -145.5 pounds
Timothy Bradley -146.5 pounds

WBO Super Middleweight Championship
Arthur Abraham -168 pounds
Gilberto Ramirez -168 pounds

WBO NABO Featherweight Championship
Oscar Valdez -125.5 pounds
Evgeny Gradovich -126 pounds

Showtime Championship Boxing Card:

WORLD TITLE BOXING WEIGH IN 02,LONDON PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG IBF WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE CHALLENGER ANTHONY JOSHUA AND CHAMPION CHARLES MARTIN WEIGH IN Credit: Matchroom Sport

IBF Heavyweight World Championship
Charles Martin – 245 Pounds
Anthony Joshua – 244 Pounds

IBF Featherweight World Championship
Lee Selby – 125 Pounds
Eric Hunter – 125 ¼ Pounds

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Showtime Boxing International Preview: Charles Martin vs. Anthony Joshua, Selby vs. Hunter


Showtime Boxing International Preview: Charles Martin vs. Anthony Joshua, Selby vs. Hunter
By: William Holmes

Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley are not the only big names fighting on Saturday, as Showtime Showtime Boxing International will televised two world title fights live from the O2 Arena in London England. The main event of the evening will feature newly minted IBF Heavyweight Champion Charles Martin putting his title on the line against the hard hitting uber prospect Anthony Joshua. The opening bout of the afternoon will be between IBF Featherweight World Champion Lee Selby and Philadelphia contender Eric Hunter.

The main event will have big implications in the heavyweight scene moving forward, as the other two world titlists have big title bouts coming up in the near future. Tyson Fury is set to defend his title again against Wladimir Klitschko and Deontay Wilder will be traveling to Russia to face Alexander Povetkin. The winner of the bout between Martin and Joshua will have big money options in the near future.

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The following is a preview of the IBF Featherweight and IBF Heavyweight title bouts.

Lee Selby (22-1) vs. Eric Hunter (21-3); IBF Featherweight Title

Lee Selby is the current IBF Featherweight Title holder and has fought outside the United Kingdom once in his career. However, on Saturday night he will be fighting in the United Kingdom yet again and will have the fans in attendance cheering for him.

Selby will have a two and a half inch height advantage as well as a one inch reach advantage over his opponent. They are both twenty nine years old and in the peek of their athetlic prime.

Neither Selby or Hunter has any notable international amateur accomplishments and both have average power for a featherweight. Hunter has stopped eleven of his opponents while Selby has only stopped eight.

Hunter’s record is a bit deceiving, as two of his losses were by disqualification, to Mike Oliver and Luis Franco, and his other loss was by split decision to Carlos Vivan way back in 2007.

Selby has defeated the likes of Fernando Montiel, Evgeny Gradovich, and Joel Bunker. Hunter’s biggest wins have come against Jerry Belmontes, Yenifel Vicente, Antonio Escalante, and Rene Alvardo.

This should be a close fight and will likely be action packed. Both boxers like to throw a high volume of punches, and this bout could go either way. But Selby, at this point, has faced the tougher competition and fighting in front of his countrymen should make him a favorite on Saturday.

Charles Martin (23-0-1) vs. Anthony Joshua (15-0); IBF Heavyweight Title

Charles Martin wasted little time in challenging himself after he defeated Vyacheslav Glazkov for the IBF Heavyweight title and accepted a challenge from one of the best prospects the heavyweight division has to offer.

Martin has incredible power and has stopped twenty one of his opponents, but Joshua has even more impressive knockout numbers as he has stopped every single opponent he has faced and only one guy has made it past the third round.

Martin, a southpaw, will be giving up one inch in height and two inches in reach to Joshua. Martin did have some success in the amateur circuit as he is a former National Police Athletic League Champion and was the National Runner up in the Golden Gloves. Joshua however, has reached the pinnacle of the amateurs by winning the gold medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Martin’s biggest victories to date have come against Vyacheslav Glazkov, Vicente Ssandez, Kertson Manswell, Glenddy Hernandez, and Joey Dawejko. Joshua’s biggest victories to date have come against Dillian Whyte, Gary Cornish, Kevin Johnson, and Raphael Zumbano Love.

This will be the first time Martin has ever fought outside the United States. Joshua has never fought outside the United Kingdom and will have a friendly crowd in attendance supporting him.

Both boxers have been very active the past two years. Martin fought once in 2016, four times in 2015, and five times in 2014. Joshua has fought five times in 2015 and seven times in 2014.

Martin has the power in his hands to score the upset, but Joshua comes from a strong amateur pedigree and has even more power in his hands than his opponent. The longer the fight goes the better the odds are of a Joshua victory, but regardless Joshua should be the favorite to win on Saturday night.

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