Recently, Anthony Joshua and Eric Molina competed for the IBF Heavyweight title, with both athletes aiming to add another victory to their repertoire. Joshua, after winning the belt versus Charles Martin, had already retained his title once, after emerging victorious via a seventh round knock-out versus Dominic Breazeale. Yet, the American Molina seemed to provide a fresh challenge for Joshua, as he seemed to prefer a protective style of boxing; whilst a challenge, it seemed to be one Joshua relished, as after multiple flurries Joshua achieved another victory via knockout, maintaining his 100% record. As such, the Brit retained his title for the second time, perhaps suggesting he may be the most accomplished heavyweight boxer currently anywhere in the world.
Prior to the bout, it seemed the Brit might have been the favourite, perhaps due to his 100% win record, all of which came via a knockout. Perhaps his crowning glory though, and the most prominent reason as to why he seemed to be the favourite, may have been his Olympic gold medal; in London 2012, Joshua was the heavyweight champion, perhaps suggesting he is an accomplished athlete who has won titles both as an amateur and a professional, and he may have been looking to draw upon these experiences to contribute to a victory. Yet, Molina seemed to also be a competitive athlete, boasting a superior record of wins, with 25, and more knockouts than his opponent. This, coupled with his previous experience versus reigning champions, such as Deontay Wilder, seemed to present a fresh challenge to Joshua; perhaps the first time he would be facing a boxer whose priority seemed to contrast his own.
During the match, the Brit seemed to continue using similar tactics, which seem to have provided dividends in previous bouts, seeming to focus on his strength and punching power to grind down his rival. This tactic seemed to be successful, as with Molina seeming to consistently protect himself from Joshua’s offensives, his opponent seemed to be able to showcase his boxing prowess, knocking the American out 58 seconds into the third round. Victory via knock-out resulted in Joshua maintaining his 100% KO record, perhaps showcasing his seemingly proficient style as he seems to be amongst the most powerful athletes in the sport. Furthermore, with Joshua winning the tie in the third round, it may suggest he is an accomplished athlete who possesses the ability to dispatch opponents early in the contest, and as such may be considered amongst the most accomplished heavyweight boxers in history, and the favourite for any upcoming match-ups.
Joshua maintained his perfect knockout record, and in addition to his other achievements, this may motivate him to strive for further accomplishments, and increase his repertoire as an athlete. Perhaps he may be able to achieve this goal sooner rather than later, as after the conclusion of the aforementioned belt defence, Joshua’s next opponent was announced: Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko. Whilst Klitschko may head into the bout the favourite, boasting 64 wins, and perhaps highly motivated after his last competition versus Tyson Fury, Joshua may look to win his 19th consecutive match, perhaps utilising his previous victories in title bouts to retain his belt for the third time, and win two others.
With the date for the Joshua versus Klitschko bout scheduled, Joshua seems to have multiple weeks to train and increase his boxing credentials in order to enhance his chances of victory. Whilst the Ukrainian may already be considered amongst the boxing elite, due to his previous possession of six major title belts simultaneously, Joshua may also be amongst this group, as his transition from amateur to professional boxing may have elevated his chances of success and titles, and overall his increased status. Ultimately, his consistent run of victories may have enabled him to become the focal point of British boxing, and as such he may motivate other athletes, such as Nicola Adams, to transition, and achieve, in professional boxing.
How may Joshua utilise this victory in the Klitschko match in order to warrant possession of both heavyweight belts?