Deontay Wilder versus Eric Molina looks like David versus Goliath on paper, only that both Wilder and Molina are the size of Goliath.
Freakish Punching Power
Deontay Wilder brought back a piece of boxing’s heavyweight glory to America for the first time in nearly a decade after he defeated Canadian Bermane Stiverne last January 17th to wrest the WBC Heavyweight championship. And while owning the WBC strap didn’t make him the man to beat in boxing’s most popular weight class, holding on to it in his first title defense on June 13th at the Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Alabama should bridge a fight between him and the man universally recognized as the best heavyweight in the planet for decades: Wladimir Klitschko.
Wilder may not be the best at heavyweight right now, but he’s big, powerful, undefeated and has knocked out 32 of 33 opponents including 18 in the very first round. That raw punching power is hard to find these days, especially in the heavyweight division that has been dominated by the Klitschko brothers’ size and length in the last two decades. It’s also that freakish power in his fists that fans come to see and which makes Wilder a relevant player in boxing’s heavyweight division.
An Unlikely Foe
Eric Molina isn’t exactly the kind of opponent who draws a lot of attention from the boxing public. Not much is known of Wilder’s challenger except that he is 23-2 with 17 KOs and that he was knocked out in the first round of his pro debut by Chris Arreola in 2012. Not many expected him to be the first guy to challenge Wilder, but after high profile fighters chose to stay away from the powerful Wilder, Molina returned the call and signed the deal, even if it will make him another victim in Wilder’s fight resume.
Molina’s last five opponents had a combined record of 108-82-7 and none is a name you may have heard of. And while most are already counting him out, Molina believes that there is more to him than meets the eye. Molina believes that his losses have made him a better boxer and a worthy contender. He doesn’t care what others think of his chances against Wilder. All he knows is that it was too big an opportunity to make a pass on, even if it meant facing a beast inside the ring.
Who Takes This?
Regardless of what Molina thinks and feels, he is a huge 50-1 underdog in this fight. He hasn’t beaten a Top 10 heavyweight yet, nor has he even faced one. Molina does have the knockouts in his resume, but it’s unsure if his punching power will be felt by a much bigger guy than him in Wilder. A more pressing point is how he’ll take the punch of Wilder because if you ask history, it says 96.9% of his opponents have kissed the canvass in defeat. But remember also that this is heavyweight boxing, where one punch changes everything, so don’t count Molina out yet.
However, conventional wisdom says Wilder is going to have a coming out party. There is a lot of pressure to win big in front of the hometown fans and Wilder is ready for the challenge. This should be quick and brutal. In most probability, Wilder will get KO #33 on Saturday night.