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Joshua meets Molina for heavyweight title defence, Whyte and Chisora collide in Manchester

Lee Gormley | 10 December 2016

Anthony Joshua v Eric Molina

  • IBF heavyweight title fight
  • Saturday, December 10th
  • Scheduled for: 22:30 GMT
  • Manchester Arena
  • Live on Sky Sports Box Office

Joshua v Molina tips for fight night

A Wembley showdown with Wladimir Klitschko looms next year for IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, but first he must overcome the threat of Eric Molina in his second title defence in Manchester.

Joshua v Molina tips for fight night point towards another stoppage success for the reigning IBF champion.

Joshua v Molina tips for fight night point towards another stoppage success for the reigning IBF champion.

This weekend Joshua (17-0, 17 KOs) will aim to extend his rampant knockout streak to 18 consecutive victims in his latest outing, having rocketed to boxing stardom in just three years as a professional.

The London 2012 Olympic Gold medallist has halted every fighter to step into the ring with him since 2013 and is yet to be taken beyond the seventh round, though American challenger Molina (25-3, 19 KOs) will hope to derail his career on Saturday night.

Watford-born Joshua will enter proceedings at 9/4 with Coral to stop Molina inside rounds 4-6 and retain his crown in front of the Manchester Arena crowd, following five straight wins at the O2 Arena in London.

AJ expecting toughest career test

The IBF title holder was originally set to face Klitschko on Manchester soil before the Ukrainian sustained an injury to rule him out and delay such a bout until next year, with Texan brawler Molina therefore stepping in instead.

Joshua will look to extend his rampant run and set up a clash with Klitschko.

Joshua will look to extend his rampant run and set up a clash with Klitschko.

Despite the 34-year-old set to enter proceedings as a 12/1 outsider for success, Joshua is expecting a tough test and has prepared for what could be his hardest battle yet.

“There has been plenty of talk about who I may face but all I’m doing is concentrating on finishing Molina in style and putting on a great show,” stated AJ, who is 11/2 for a KO inside rounds 7-9.

“Every fight is dangerous in this division and this is no exception. I saw Molina have a great fight with Wilder and he is now coming off a strong KO win against Adamek in Poland.

“I’m expecting this to be the toughest fight of my career so far and I will be ready for an all-out war.”

Molina out to stun Joshua

Visiting contender Molina is out to emulate his mentor Oliver McCall this weekend when facing Joshua. McCall famously upset Lennox Lewis back in 1994 by halting him in the second round to lift the world title, and the challenger is 14/1 to hand the champion his maiden career defeat.

Molina is aiming to shock the world on Saturday night.

Molina is aiming to shock the world on Saturday night.

“I always envisaged having a moment like Oliver had against Lewis,” he outlined. “Oliver has meant so much to my career and showed that in the heavyweight division, anything is possible.

“The knockout is the only way I’m going to win and I’ve got nothing to lose. Anthony Joshua and all of Britain will be surprised.”

Former division kingpin Klitschko will reportedly be at ringside this weekend to oversee the bout, but Joshua will be focusing fully on the immediate task at hand and is 13/2 to earn his first points win or 4/1 to end Molina’s night early in the opening round.

Whyte and Chisora clash on packed undercard

Following the heated build-up to their anticipated meeting, the bad blood between Dillian Whyte (19-1, 15 KOs) and Dereck Chisora (26-6, 18 KOs) will finally be sorted out in the ring as they collide for what should be a furious scrap.

As part of the Whyte v Chisora odds, back the former to triumph.

As part of the Whyte v Chisora odds, back the former to triumph.

Having bounced back from his KO at the hands of Joshua last year with wins over Ivica Bacurin, David Allen and Ian Lewison, Whyte enters this awaited match-up at 6/4 for a stoppage success and 7/4 to outpoint Chisora.

The latter Zimbabwe-born Briton, who was fined £25k and given a two-year suspended suspension for throwing a table during a recent press conference, is 2/1 to prevail and 9/2 for a stoppage victory.

Meanwhile, the exciting undercard in Manchester also features many other British and Irish stars, including recent pro debutant Katie Taylor (1-0, 1 KO), who is 10/1 to halt Viviane Obenauf (9-1, 4 KOs) in the opening round of their meeting.

Yafai, Ortiz and Smith also feature

Birmingham’s Kal Yafai (20-0, 14 KOs) is 15/8 to earn a points triumph over Panama-born southpaw Luis Concepcion (35-4, 24 KOs) and become Britain’s first super-flyweight world champion, though the reigning champion is a promising 13/8 to defend his strap.

Ortiz faces Allen, while Smith clashes with Blackledge and Benn also stars on the undercard.

Ortiz faces Allen, while Smith clashes with Blackledge and Benn also stars on the undercard.

Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz (26-0, 22 KOs) faces off with Yorkshireman Allen (9-1, 6 KOs) and is 7/4 to stop his opponent inside rounds 4-6, while the Doncaster-born fighter is 16/1 to cause an upset. Manchester’s Scott Quigg also returns to action and is 6/5 to halt Jose Cayetano in his step up to featherweight.

Callum Smith (21-0, 16 KOs) also tackles Luke Blackledge (22-2-2, 7 KOs) and is 11/2 for a points decision win before a potential world title shot at James DeGale or Badou Jack, while the latter Clitheroe fighter is 14/1 to spring a surprise and derail such a bout.

Finally, Conor Benn (5-0, 3 KOs) takes on Josh Thorne (1-5-1), Marcus Morrison (13-0, 10 KOs) meets Harry Matthews (14-21-2, 2 KOs) and Hosea Burton (18-0, 9 KOs) and Frank Buglioni (18-2-1, 14 KOs) put their ward of words to rest when colliding on an entertaining fight night at the Manchester Arena.

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