It’s ‘bombs away’ this weekend when the big boys face off in the ‘Magic City’ of Birmingham, Alabama.
Undefeated heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder will attempt the first defense of his just-acquired WBC world title when he faces off against Eric Molina on Saturday at the Bartow Arena– Showtime Championship Boxing will carry the fight live at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
In the UK, Sky Sports 1’s Fight Night International has the bout live, on Sunday at 01:00 a.m.
Odds of Winning
Deontay Wilder enters this showcase fight as a tremendous favorite in Vegas and on online sportsbooks (see odds below), and the bookmakers expect an early night-night for the unknown Molina.
“I’m most dangerous when I’m at home,” Wilder said at a recent media workout. “I’m not going to let down my home crowd and let someone take what I’ve worked so hard for. [Molina’s] not going to come behind enemy lines and take anything from me.”
Wilder (33-0, 32 KOs) was last in action in January, in a contest which many– citing his lack of solid past opposition– did not give him much chance to finish on his feet, facing then-WBC world champ Bermane Stiverne. But he proved the ‘experts’ and ‘insiders’ dead-wrong by putting on a boxing workshop that left Stiverne dumbfounded and earned the 29-year-old Wilder a unanimous decision and the world title.
Check out this preview of what’s to come:
“We have a lot of other opponents, but Molina was the one to understand the opportunity that lies at hand,” Wilder said. “Some people can price themselves out and some teams make it so difficult that the fight won’t happen. They can really block themselves out from getting the fight. You can have the money or the opportunity. Molina understands what the situation is, and he stepped up to the plate and understands the opportunity at hand to be the World Heavyweight Champion.”
Fighting out of Raymondville, Texas, journeyman Eric Molina (23-2, 17 KOs) enters the ring having beaten Raphael Zumbano Love with an eighth-round TKO on the Stiverne-Wilder undercard in January.
“I remember just a few months ago watching Deontay get ready for the biggest fight of his life,” Molina said. “I thought to myself, ‘someday, that’ll be me.’ I stared with envy not knowing that a few months later I’d get my turn.”
Molina has suffered two career-defeats: the first, in his debut bout; the second, to Chris Arreola in 2012.
“Winning the heavyweight world championship is my dream,” Molina said. “Just as it was Deontay’s dream, it’s mine now. He had his turn, though it will be short-lived. I will become the first Mexican-American heavyweight champion. Guaranteed. So, champ, come prepared for war. I’m coming to kick some ass.”
I like that confidence.
But the bookies aren’t impressed. Let’s take a look at the numbers:
Sky BET: Deontay Wilder -8000 Eric Molina +1200
bet365: Deontay Wilder -10,000 Eric Molina +1600
Boyle Sports: Deontay Wilder -5000 Eric Molina +1200
Coral: Deontay Wilder -5000 Eric Molina +1400
Bet365’s round-betting numbers (who will win and, if by stoppage, in which round) reflect the overall trend, and Molina doesn’t fair too well here either:
Deontay Wilder Rnd 1: +175
Deontay Wilder Rnd 2: +187
Deontay Wilder Rnd 3: +450
Deontay Wilder Rnd 4: +750
Deontay Wilder Rnd 5: +1200
Deontay Wilder Rnd 6: +1600
Deontay Wilder Rnd 7: +2500
Deontay Wilder Rnd 8: +3300
Deontay Wilder Rnd 9: +4000
Deontay Wilder Rnd 10: +5000
Deontay Wilder Rnd 11: +6600
Deontay Wilder Rnd 12: +8000
Deontay Wilder Pts (after 12 rnds): +1000
Eric Molina Rnd 1: +6600
Eric Molina Rnd 2: +8000
Eric Molina Rnd 3: +8000
Eric Molina Rnd 4: +10000
Eric Molina Rnd 5: +15000
Eric Molina Rnd 6: +20000
Eric Molina Rnd 7: +20000
Eric Molina Rnd 8: +20000
Eric Molina Rnd 9: +25000
Eric Molina Rnd 10: +25000
Eric Molina Rnd 11: +25000
Eric Molina Rnd 12: +30000
Eric Molina Pts (after 12 rnds): +5000
You really want my prediction for this? Deontay will come out in the first round and go: POW! Right in the kisser! And Molina will get really sleepy, and Deontay will swaddle him and give him his pacifier and say “Night, night,” and will put him down for the night.
Then he’ll kiss 6-foot 5-inch Baby Eric on the forehead and thank God and Al Haymon.
Guy’s pick: Wilder by first round KO via a straight right.
In the co-feature, Jose Pedraza (19-0, 12 KOs) takes on Andrey Klimov (19-1, 9 KOs) for the vacant IBF Junior Lightweight World Championship.