BOXING

Anthony Joshua Wins Easily on Day of Heavyweight Action

Anthony Joshua Makes Quick Work of Reluctant Eric Molina

Anthony Joshua’s next fight is a big deal. Thank goodness. His most recent fight was a big dud.

That wasn’t Joshua’s fault.

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Photo Cred // The Mirror 

He had originally hoped to face former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko this past weekend. Klitschko suffered an injury before they could reach a deal. Instead, Joshua took on Eric Molina, winning easily in just eight minutes with a third-round technical knockout.

Klitschko will be next, a massive fight scheduled to take place on April 29 in a massive venue, Wembley Stadium, where super middleweights Carl Froch and George Groves performed in front of an announced crowd of approximately 80,000 people back in 2014.

Anthony-Joshua-v-Eric-Molina

Photo Cred // The Mirror 

Although Klitschko is almost 41 years old and is no longer as dominant as he once was, he at least could provide a sterner challenge than Molina did this past Saturday.

Molina backed to the ropes nearly from the outset, appearing intimidated by Joshua, who is not only towering and muscular, but is also fast and powerful. Joshua took his time, going to the body, sending a left hook counter out in response to Molina’s jab, and chopping away until his opponent wilted.

That was inevitable.

Molina had little to offer. He threw just 10 punches in the first round, 11 punches in the second and 13 punches in the third, according to CompuBox. He landed just once in the first, once in the second and four times in the third. In total, he was 6 of 34, throwing fewer punches than Joshua landed.

Joshua was 38 of 105. The last punches came about halfway through the third. Molina had landed a right to the body. Joshua responded, missing a couple but then delivering a right hand through Molina’s gloves that landed flush on the jaw. Molina went down, looked like he didn’t want to rise, but got up as the count reached eight. Joshua closed in. He landed a left hook and followed up with a barrage. Molina wanted none of it, turning away and taking a left uppercut, a right hand and a couple more lefts before the referee jumped in.

Molina is now 25-4 with 19 knockouts. He’d put up some good resistance while challenging for Deontay Wilder’s world title a year and a half ago before succumbing in the ninth round. He had next to nothing against Joshua.

Joshua, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist at super heavyweight, is now 18-0 with 18 KOs as a pro. This was the second defense of a world title he won in April. A second world title — one that is presently vacant — will belong to the winner of Joshua vs. Klitschko.

Klitschko was the king of the division until he lost to Tyson Fury in late 2015. This will be his final chance at recapturing glory. Joshua, meanwhile, wants to stake his own claim to the throne. A win over Klitschko would help bring him closer to that crowning achievement.

 

Joseph Parker Edges Andy Ruiz to Win Vacant World Title

Joseph Parker’s win over Andy Ruiz wasn’t incredibly impressive, but it was incredibly important.

With the victory, Parker picked up a vacant heavyweight title — one of the belts that belonged to Tyson Fury before he stepped away from the ring to focus on his mental health struggles.

Parker can try to look better next time.

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Photo Cred // Yahoo NZ

He didn’t look bad, but he didn’t blow boxing fans away either. He boxed his way to a close majority decision, winning 115-113 (seven rounds to five) on two of the judges’ scorecards, while the third judge had it even at 114-114, or six rounds apiece.

Parker has been one of the top heavyweight prospects, though he’d only recently begun to step up to a better level of competition, outpointing Carlos Takam in May and stopping Alexander Dimitrenko in three rounds this past October. Ruiz was also unbeaten as a pro, though he was more known for his overweight appearance than anything else.

Ruiz does have talent, though. He used his advantages in hand and foot speed to close the distance in the early rounds, landing blows to Parker’s head. Parker soon gained control of the action, boxing better and keeping Ruiz at bay. Parker wasn’t doing much in the way of landing, though he at least had Ruiz doing even less. Ruiz began to come on again as the fight neared its end, but it wasn’t enough for him to come away with the victory.

Parker is now 22-0 with 18 KOs. He has a world title, but he also has some work to do in order to show whether he can compete against the best big men in the world. He’s still young, turning 25 in January, and ironically having a world title will actually buy him time. Instead of heading toward a collision with Anthony Joshua, Parker is instead expected to make his first defense against Hughie Fury, Tyson Fury’s undefeated 22-year-old cousin.

Ruiz fell to 29-1 with 19 KOs. He wasn’t embarrassed, but he’ll also need to do much better next time in order to keep from being lumped in with another hefty heavyweight who couldn’t win the big one, Chris Arreola.

 

Luis Ortiz Stays Busy, Stops David Allen in Seven

Luis Ortiz wasn’t the most notable heavyweight fighting in the British city of Manchester on Saturday night. That, of course, was Anthony Joshua. Nor was Ortiz in the most entertaining heavyweight bout at the arena that evening. That honor belonged to the battle between Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora.

But Ortiz was there to stay busy while waiting for a big heavyweight fight. Less than a month after outpointing Malik Scott, Ortiz stepped back into the ring to score a seventh-round technical knockout of a gutty young fighter named David Allen.

Allen, 24, came into the bout with just 11 fights on his pro record and was coming off a wide decision loss to Whyte in July. He was in with an experienced, skilled fighter in Ortiz, yet he wasn’t intimidated.

Instead, Allen looked composed as he circled Ortiz in the opening round, then tried to use upper body movement to avoid punches and set up his own opportunities for the remainder of the fight. Ortiz was able to find openings to land, catching Allen flush in the second and sending forth numerous uppercuts when Allen would bend down and step forward. Allen landed on occasion, including a pair of right hands in the fourth, though not often enough or hard enough to make a difference.

By the sixth, blood was coming from Allen’s mouth. Ortiz hurt Allen in the final minute of the seventh, then landed a good right hand just before the bell that led to the referee jumping in. Allen wasn’t badly hurt, but he was losing a one-sided fight that didn’t need to continue, not even for one more round.

Allen is now 9-2-1 with 6 KOs. He said before this fight that he wouldn’t lose, but would either win or learn. The defeat is nevertheless on his record. He may still  have a future against a certain level of heavyweight in the United Kingdom.

Ortiz is now 27-0 with 23 KOs. He’s in line for a shot at a now-vacant world title that will have an owner soon, belonging to the winner of April’s fight between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko. He’ll have to wait. But if the past several weeks are any indication, he’ll stay quite busy in the meantime.

David Greisman
About the Author:

David Greisman.

David Greisman is an award-winning boxing writer based out of Washington, D.C., who has covered the sport since 2004. He is the senior staff writer and “Fighting Words” columnist for BoxingScene.com and a reporter for The Ring magazine. Greisman is the author of the book “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing.”
Follow on Twitter @fightingwords2

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