Anthony Joshua is back and he will be hoping to pave the way for a fight with Wladimir Klitschko in the spring.
The former two-time ABA champion, who boxed out of Finchley ABC in the unpaid ranks, is an Olympic gold medallist and will look to retain his IBF heavyweight crown ahead of a showdown with the former Ukrainian kingpin in 2017.
Joshua, 27, has a perfect record since making his debut at tonight’s venue back in October, 2013. He’s had 17 fights, won all 17 with relative ease and scored knockouts in all of them to boot.
And he is widely expected to keep that record intact before he goes on to bigger and better things.
On Saturday (December 10), exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office at the Manchester Arena, the world champion takes on ex-WBC title challenger Eric Molina (25-3, 19 KOs), who is coming into the fight on the back of a surprise knockout victory over Tomasz Adamek in Poland in April.
So, as we countdown to the ring walks for the main event, Instant Boxing has an all-you-need-to-know guide about the heavyweight glamour tie that pits Britain against America for the third time in as many fights, given that Joshua stopped Charles Martin to win the belt at London’s O2 Arena in April before ending the resolve of Dominic Breazeale inside seven rounds in the same setting three months later.
1. When is the fight?
The fight will take place this Saturday (December 10) in front of a 21,000-strong capacity crowd.
2. Where is the fight?
The showdown is at the Manchester Arena and is being promoted by Eddie Hearn for Matchroom Sport, in association with Warriors Boxing.
3. What channel is the fight on?
Sky Sports Box Office are showing the fight live at a cost of £16.95.
Their coverage starts at 5:30pm, with a host of undercard fights, including another world title fight and a heavyweight grudge match, preceding the main event.
You can order the pay-per-view at [bit.ly/JoshuaMolinaBook]bit.ly/JoshuaMolinaBook
4. What time is the main event?
The main event, the fight of the night, is set to take place at around 10:30pm, with Joshua’s ringwalk scheduled for that time.
5. What’s on the line?
The IBF heavyweight title.
6. What have they been saying?
Anthony Joshua: “I am pleased that everything is now set for December 10 and I can concentrate on getting the business done in the ring.
“There has been plenty of talk about who I may face but all I’m doing is concentrating on finishing Molina in style and putting on a great show.
“Every fight is dangerous in this division and this is no exception. I saw Molina have a great fight with Wilder and he is now coming off a strong KO win against Adamek in Poland.
“I’m expecting this to be the toughest fight of my career so far and I will be ready for an all-out war.”
Eric Molina: “There is no heavyweight in the world that has bounced back like I have.
“That’s the man that Joshua faces on December 10 and that man is a very dangerous one.
“He’ll fight the toughest Molina that anybody has ever seen, just like Adamek fought the toughest Molina.
“I’m confident. These type of fights don’t shake me up, I’m a very strong mental fighter. I know exactly what I’ve got to do to prepare myself in the amount of time. I know exactly what I’ve got to do, mentally, physically, to go there and perform.
“When you walk out into the atmosphere, half the battle is the mental battle, and if you can stay in the moment mentally you have a shot in any fight.”
7. Which other fights are on the card?
Dillian Whyte v Dereck Chisora: WBC International heavyweight title and an official eliminator for the world title currently held by Deontay Wilder
Luis Concepcion v Kal Yafai: WBA super-flyweight world title
Callum Smith vs. Luke Blackledge: British super-middleweight title
Luis Ortiz vs. David Allen: eight rounds at heavyweight
Hosea Burton vs. Frank Buglioni: British light-heavyweight title
Scott Quigg vs. Jose Cayetano: vacant WBA International featherweight title
Katie Taylor vs. Viviane Obenauf: six rounds at featherweight
Conor Benn vs. Steven Backhouse: six rounds at welterweight
Marcus Morrison vs. Harry Matthews: six rounds at super-welterweight