Anthony Joshua has put an end to speculation over an upcoming super-fight between him and heavyweight boxing legend Wladimir Klitschko with the announcement of Eric Molina as his next opponent.
Talk of a possible bout between Joshua and Klitschko arose when boxing promoter Eddie Hearn suggested that the two should fight for the belts following the news that Tyson Fury's rematch with Klitchko had been cancelled due to Fury's medical condition.
It was later revealed that the reason behind the second cancellation of Fury/Klitschko II was down to the fact that Fury had been using cocaine as a means to deal with the pressures of life at the top of the boxing pyramid.
News then broke of a possible revocation of Fury's fighting licence, which would mean that he would have to vacate his belts.
It was upon this realisation that Hearn stepped in to announce that Joshua should take Fury's place in a title fight with Klitschko for the unified heavyweight championship.
The two elite fighters were said to be close to agreeing on a deal for the fight to take place, but the process was brought to a halt when Klitschko injured himself in training.
However, Joshua's camp were quick to find him a replacement opponent and, as a result, he will now fight Molina in Manchester on December 10.
In an interview featured in an article published by the Mirror, Joshua said: "I don't even want to mention Wladimir Klitschko too much at that moment. Eric Molina will be across the ring and he’s the man I've got to focus on.
"Right now we're competing for a championship, I have to put Klitschko aside and focus on what's in front of me."
Molina's last fight saw him succumb to a ninth round stoppage at the hands of American knock-out specialist Deontay Wilder.
On his upcoming opponent's performance against Wilder, Joshua said: "Eric is a great fighter; Deontay Wilder is known as a one-punch knockout artist and he stood up to a lot of his punches.
"This man is here to take champions to their limit and try to take what they've got from them."
Molina also took part in an interview and he claims there was a specific reason for his defeat against Wilder.
He said: "Against Deontay Wilder I fought five rounds with a busted ankle, so everything you saw was done on one leg."
When asked about his views on the impending fight with the British world champ, Molina said:
"That's the type of fight I’m giving this young man. I'll fight with everything I've got, I can win this fight with one punch. This is the heavyweight division and anything can happen.
"I knew this fight was coming my way because no-one wants to fight him. They’d rather go fight for other belts than fight this man right here."
The road to a Joshua - Klitschko fight has not been cordoned off permanently, however, should Joshua win his fight in Manchester next month his camp will then look to get the fight on with the Ukrainian former WBA, WBO and IBF world champion in the springtime of 2017.
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