Deontay Wilder vs Molina results and takeawaysWritten by Leroy Cleveland
Tonight, heavyweight challenger Eric Molina did something 32 of 33 of Deontay Wilder's previous opponents couldn't do.
.... He made it past four rounds.
As a matter of fact, Molina survived all the way to the ninth.
Tonight, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (34-0, 33 KOs) rocked the house in front of his hometown fans with a ninth round knockout over WBC #7 Eric Molina (23-3, 17 KOs) at Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.
But it wasn't easy.
Molina buckled Wilder with a left hook in round three but Wilder returned the gesture, unleashing a wicked left hook of his own from long range in round 4 that sent his foe crashing to the canvas. Wilder would earn two more knockdowns in round five but Molina would rally back, even winning Round 8.
The end came in Round 9 when Molina opened up and was sent to the canvas again by a crackling combination. The referee immediately halted the action as he stood over the outstretched challenger.
- Exposed? Despite his dominance, the bout served as Wilder's least impressive as he was often cautious and tentative, looking for openings instead of creating them.
- Odds: Molina performed far better than advertised and fought more like a 9 to 1 underdog than a fella who was on the short end of 50 to 1 odds
- Pure skill: The difference in skill level was easily apparent throughout. Wilder is several levels above Molina.
- Courageous but crude: The challenger often looked crude, lunging in with wild shots; But he was courageous and tried to connect on a lot of hard punches even after tasting the canvas.
- Underdog: Based on the performance tonight, Wilder may be an underdog should he face Alexander Povetkin next
- Stock: Wilder's stock may drop a bit as he showed flaws and seemed hesitant to engage at times. Despite the knockout, he didn't look like the destroyer we've seen in previous bouts. Molina's stock defintely rises simply because no one expected him to be nearly as competitive as he was. Look for him to get more assignments against moderate to big name opponents.