Wilder: Molina Can Upset Joshua
Deontay Wilder will have a keen eye on this weekend’s action, particularly the heavyweight title fight between Anthony Joshua and Eric Molina. Molina, a massive underdog, was knocked out by Wilder last year — but he believes that Joshua is a better fighter than Wilder.
To Wilder, hearing Molina make such statements is amusing. Given the devastating result of their own fight, Molina had been complimentary towards Wilder’s power until recently.
"That’s weird," Wilder said to BoxingScene.com. "I guess he’s getting bipolar now, because all he’s been talking about is how I’m a dangerous fighter and how I’m the hardest-hitting fighter in the business, stuff like that. And now somebody’s better. But, you know, whatever. To each his own."
Molina (25-3, 19 KOs) challenges Joshua for his IBF world title on Dec. 10 in Manchester. The highly-touted Joshua was expected to face Wladimir Klitschko, but that fight was delayed until 2017. Molina is considered to be an outmatched tune-up, an easy opponent to keep Joshua busy before the super-fight.
Wilder believes Molina can prove the consensus wrong and shock the world against Joshua. He recalls getting stunned by a left hook when he faced off with Molina, and he has respect for the American heavyweight’s power.
"Of course I think he can win," Wilder said. "He has the heart and the will, and that’s all you need. People say skills pay bills, but I don’t believe in that. I’ve done beaten a lot of guys with more skills than me throughout my career, amateur-wise and coming up. I don’t believe that skills pay bills. I believe in that will and determination of a person, and their heart. That’s what wins fights."
Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs) has criticized the level of competition that Joshua has faced to earn his status as a bright star in the heavyweight division. He will provide analysis for Showtime’s broadcast of the Brit’s fight on Saturday, and unlike the rest of the boxing world, he would not be surprised to see an upset.
"I definitely think this fight could be a late-round stoppage or a decision," Wilder said. "It’s got the potential of being stopped in the late rounds, in my opinion. So we’ll see how it goes. Being that Molina has fought me, one of the best, one of the hardest hitters in the division for sure — that’s a fact — we’ll see how it goes.
"You know, Joshua’s not a flexible guy. Anybody that has head movement and can throw angles at him, it’s gonna be an easy win for them. But it’s gonna be up to Molina, to see what he’s gonna do."