Anthony Joshua
Joshua Knocks Down Molina, To Fight Klitschko Next/Photo: Getty Images

By Andah John with agency report

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IBF champion Anthony Oluwafemi Joshua defended his  heavyweight title with a third-round defeat of Eric Molina in Manchester.

Joshua knocked Molina down with a short right before the referee called off the fight.

Klitschko next in the ring

Joshau now has 18 knockouts from as many fights and will face former heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium on 29 April.

“This is the step-up people have wanted,” the BBC quoted Joshua as saying.

“Klitschko wants his belts back and may the best man win.”

Anthony Joshua
Klitschko speaks to Joshua after bout/Photo: AP

Ukrainian speaks with Joshua

Klitschko, who lost his WBA, IBF and WBO belts to Tyson Fury last year, stepped through the ropes to speak to Joshua.

“He is the best man in the division and the excitement speaks for itself,” the Ukraine fighter was quoted by BBC. “This is what the fans want and this fight must happen.”

The Manchester Arena was a 21,000 sell-out and those in attendance also included former heavyweight world champions Shannon Briggs and David Haye, and WBC cruiserweight world champion Tony Bellew.

Joshua slowly gets into fight

The first round of the main event featured little action, although Joshua did land with a good left hook on the bell.

With Molina content to spoil, Joshua found it difficult to get off his shots in the second. But he finally found his range in the third, with a devastating outcome.

Anthony Joshua
Joshua with a short overhand right on Molina/Photo: Reuters

The Briton then chopped Molina down with a short overhand right and it was a minor miracle that he managed to regain his feet.

Anthony Joshua
Photo: Reuters

Joshua rains fists on Molina

But the American only lasted a few more seconds as referee Steve Gray called a halt to proceedings.