Anthony Joshua has been given words of caution by World Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder about the threat of Eric Molina, whom Joshua is set to face in December.
Joshua is looking to defend his IBF title for a second time against Molina, but Wilder - who had a close encounter with Molina himself back in June 2015 - feels that the “willing and determined” Molina will not go down easy and will be inspired to beat Joshua for his title.
Wilder told Sky Sports: "Molina will be a challenge for him.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Article continues below
"He'll come and try to fight, that's for sure, and that's what people don't understand. It's not about who he is, or what his record is. It's about what he is, and what he stands for, right now.
"People don't understand that when fighters have something to fight for, it's different. If it's just a regular fight - 'I may win or I may not' is the attitude that some of these fighters have.
Article continues below
"But when you get a fighter willing and determined to do something, then you put a title on the line, they know it's the opportunity of a lifetime. We all saw Molina fight me, and he put up a hell of a fight because it was for the belt, and he wanted to provide for his family. I think he's going to do the same.”
During the fight in June, between Wilder and Molina, the 34-year-old Texan earned plaudits for surviving three knockdowns against hard-hitting Wilder before finally giving in to his opponent.
Wilder, who himself is yet to be beaten, reveals that he is impressed by by Molina’s demonstration of durability and insists that ambitious challengers are not easily beaten by champions like Joshua.
"It says a lot about him, it says how determined he is to win," Wilder said.
"Once I became a champion I found it would become hard to keep guys on the canvas because of that determination. I am the man to beat.
"When you're a champion, every fight is a tough fight - I don't care what it is. These guys get tougher and tougher - no matter who they are, or what their record is. When people fight for titles it brings the best out of them.
"Molina is going to take as many as he can - but, keep in mind, the head is not meant to be hit in the first place! We don't know how many he's going to be able to take.
"He'll give it his all, and that's what makes great fights. I don't think records, or who he beat in the last fight, makes a fight. The toughness, willingness and heart makes a great fight."