BOXING

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Anthony Joshua looked at his brutal best when he came up against America’s Eric Molina and knocked him out spectacularly.

The pair clashed in 2016, in what would be Joshua’s final fight before his epic encounter with Wladimir Klitschko for the unified IBF and WBA heavyweight world titles.

But, when Joshua fought Molina, he was still young and hungry, with just one belt in his possession, the IBF title that he had won by knocking out Charles Martin earlier that year.

The two men came together at Manchester Arena and it did not last long, as the fight was stopped after three rounds.

A crushing right hand from Joshua marked the beginning of the end, as it broke through the defence of Molina and left him sprawled against the ropes with an expression on his face that suggested he had no interest in continuing.

But, the American bravely dragged himself off the canvas to take inevitable further punishment.

And Joshua delivered, as he immediately pounced on his opponent and Molina’s face bounced off AJ’s fists repeatedly, before the referee stepped in the mercifully wave off the contest.

As Joshua celebrated, Molina remained leaning over the ropes looking down, seemingly in relief that the contest was over and acting as yet another example of what the devastating power of Joshua can do to a man.

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In the last few years, Joshua appears to have lost that more spiteful side of himself, having not scored a knockout since 2020 when he stopped Kubrat Pulev.

But, on Saturday night, Joshua has a prime opportunity to add another KO to his record, when he comes up against ‘The Nordic Nightmare’ Robert Helenius.

Joshua was initially supposed to fight Dillian Whyte, but after returning an ‘adverse finding’ in his VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) testing, the fight was cancelled, and Helenius will now step in as a late replacement

 

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