joshua
Joshua (L) Promises Molina (R) ‘Blood, Sweat And Tears’ In IBF Defence on Saturday in Manchester, England/Photo: Getty Images

IBF champion Anthony Joshua has promised “blood, sweat and tears” during the defence of his heavyweight title against Eric Molina in Manchester on Saturday, the BBC reports.

The 27-year-old Briton is making the second defence of the belt he won in April.

Advertise With Us

At Friday’s weigh-in, the champion scaled 17st 12lb, six pounds heavier than for his last fight, while his American challenger scaled 16st 13lb.

“People love the thud of punches and there will be a knockout,” said Joshua.

“People are saying I’m the favourite. But I don’t see it like that. I take him as a real challenger.

”I’ve got to stay calm, wait for him to fatigue and then unload.”

Joshua has finished all 17 of his pro fights early.

Ahead Klitschko bout

Molina is widely expected to be merely a stepping stone for Joshua, with a match against former heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko pencilled in for next April.

The 34-year-old Texan lost his first fight as a pro in 2007. But he has been beaten only twice in 27 bouts since.

In 2012 he was knocked out in the first round by Chris Arreola, before lasting nine rounds with WBC champion Deontay Wilder.

a recall

In his most recent fight in April, Molina caused an upset by beating Tomasz Adamek in Poland.

“This will be a heavyweight slug-fest but it’s a two-way street – he can hurt me and I can hurt him,” said Molina, who has 19 knockouts from 25 victories.

“The knockout could be quick, it could be slow – let’s see how it pans out.”