ibf
IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua Photo: Sky Sports

IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will defend his belt against Eric Molina in Manchester on 10 December.

That’s according to BBC reports.

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Joshua, unbeaten in 17 fights, was close to agreeing a bout with Wladimir Klitschko but the deal fell through.

Promoter Eddie Hearn blamed confusion over whether the WBA title vacated by Tyson Fury would be on the line.

American Molina, 34, lost his only previous world title shot against Deontay Wilder in 2015.

Joshua, 27, defended his IBF heavyweight title for the first time with a seventh-round knockout of Dominic Breazeale in London in June.

Joshua expects a tough fight

“I’m expecting this to be the toughest fight of my career so far and I will be ready for an all-out war,” he told BBC.

“I saw Molina have a great fight with Wilder and he is now coming off a strong knockout win against Tomasz Adamek in Poland.”

Former world champion Klitschko has said he wants to fight Joshua in “March or April”.

The planned December bout fell through because the fighters “ran out of time”, the Ukrainian’s manager Bernd Boente has said.

Joshua won the IBF belt by beating Charles Martin in April. That was few months after Fury was stripped of the title for choosing to face Klitschko in a rematch over the IBF’s mandatory challenger.