After a planned title fight with former WBO Champion Wladmir Klitschko fell through earlier this month, IBF Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn have been frantically looking for a replacement opponent to fight on December 10 in Manchester.
There has been a wide variety of names mentioned as potential opponents for the former Olympian since Klitschko’s withdrawal, but it now seems that Eric Molina, originally scheduled to appear on the shows under-card, will be Joshua’s opponent on December 10.
An announcement is set to be made in the next 24 hours, with Joshua's camp settled on facing the 34-year-old next month.
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Molina is the current reigning IBF Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion and holds a professional record of 25 wins with 3 losses, with his biggest fight to date coming against Deontay Wilder in the summer of last year.
That was a fight he lost by knockout in the ninth round, despite rocking the undefeated Wilder with a left in the third.
The Mexican-American had originally been scheduled to face former British Heavyweight Champion David Price on the under-card at the show, with Hearn admitting to considering Price as a potential opponent as well.
However, the have ultimately decided to go with the Texan Molina, who is currently ranked as number eight in the world by the IBF and WBC.
Although the majority of reports on Klitschko’s withdrawal from the December bout suggested that it was due to a calf injury the Ukrainian suffered in training, Klitschko’s agent Bernd Boente has claimed that it was the failure to finalise the deal which caused the postponement of the fight.
Joshua is now expected to meet Klitschko at some point in 2017, once the former long time WBA Champion, who lost his title to Tyson Fury in an upset last year, recovers from niggling injuries.