While the pantomime takes off, and prepares to draw in its huge audience, there are two clashes that hold significance in the Heavyweight division this weekend.
Joshua vs Molina Fight Time:
Subject to change from TV broadcasters, but is expected that the Joshua vs Molina fight time for the main event should be around 10.30pm local time in the UK, which is 2.30pm PT in the US and 5.30pm ET.
Saturday December 10th, 2016.
Manchester Arena, Manchester, UK.
UK – Sky Sports Box Office
USA – Showtime
Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker seem to be headed towards their own collision cause, and there will be no need for out-of-the-ring antics from either to hype such a match-up should they both come through with gold stars on Saturday.
The consequence of the two winning in their respective world title fights, is a unification fight that will instantly draw numbers.
But for ‘AJ’ it seems the current IBF Heavyweight ruler has the simpler task ahead of him.
Joshua 17-0(17KO’s) makes the second defence of the crown he won in April of this year. He then defended it in June.
Charles Martin talked a good game, had the bravado of a champion, but showed the know-how of a novice when stood flat-footed allowing for Joshua to reel-off a 16th straight stoppage in round 2.
Dominic Breazeale showed more steel and maturity to his game, dragging Joshua out into the second half of the contest. But that came at the expense of a prolonged beating, that came to an end in round 7.
Now it is the turn of a well-travelled American, Eric Molina 25-3(19KO’s). A man stopped twice, but a former world title challenger that gave Deontay Wilder 9 tough rounds of boxing.
That performance which has now been followed by a stoppage of fading Tomasz Adamek may have proven that the first-round stoppage at the hands of Chris Arreola, was a combined result of lack of experience and a bad night at the office.
Saturday night at the Manchester Arena may be a return to that office as Joshua shows no sign of ending the year with a drab affair.
The undercard is stacked, so the fans will not be robbed of their money if Joshua ends this contest in quick fashion, and the champion knows that.
The saying goes that boxers don’t get paid for overtime, and there will be no overtime this weekend for either Joshua or Molina.
The moment that crushing right hand tags the chin of Molina, the fight will be as good as done, Joshua following up, expanding little energy to finish the job.
Fans will witness the gritty side of Molina, but it won’t last long, as Joshua finishes his year in a similar way to how it started.