Friday, March 31, 2023  |


Deontay Wilder’s baby steps

Fighters Network

Deontay Wilder has the hopes of a nation on his shoulders, the broad shoulders of a man who can deliver a punch which will separate a man from his senses in the blink of an eye.

The next person the “Bronze Bomber” figures to do the separation thing to is Eric Molina, a 23-2 (17) heavyweight rated No. 45 in the world, according to

They will tangle in Alabama on June 13. Wilder’s trainer, Mark Breland, headed to the airport to do the camp thing with the long, tall hitter, who took the WBC belt from Bermane Stiverne to start the year, thinks Molina is an OK test. He said he would get back to after watching some tape.

Molina is tasked with a hard climb; he’s won five straight, so he’s on a roll, but Wilder is a step-up from anyone he’s faced. Molina’s losses are to Chris Arreola, in 2012, and in his 2007 pro debut, to Ashanti Jordan.

So no, this isn’t the big one people are hoping for, a Tyson Fury or a Wladimir Klitschko fight. Consider this baby steps for Wilder. But we have to see how it plays out. Molina looks to be an improved fighter in the last couple years and his aggressiveness might be a better fit for a better fight than the Wilder-Stiverne bout.

“Premier Boxing Champions” will televise the tangle.


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