On June 13 in Deontay Wilder's home state of Alabama he will make the first defense of his title when he faces battle-tested veteran Eric Molina. The bout will headline a card televised by Showtime and will be held inside the Bartow Arena in downtown Birmingham.
Wilder became the first American-born heavyweight to capture a world title since Shannon Briggs back in 2006 when he stopped Siarhei Liakhovich in the 12th round and the first undefeated American heavyweight to do since Michael Moorer, who won the title in 1994 when he edged Evander Holyfield via decision. “It was one of my dreams to win a world title,” Wilder said. “This was my other dream to be able to defend it before all my fans in Alabama. I can't wait until fight night to step into the ring and see the whole state coming out to support me. It's a wonderful feeling to be able to defend my heavyweight championship in my home state. I've been waiting for this moment for a long time.”
Molina, is a tough fighter will a lot of arsenal. He was knocked out by Chris Arreola in the first round over three ago. However since then has has five consecutive wins, three by knockout. While he is a heavy betting underdog entering the contest, Molina is confident that he’ll pull off the upset. “Winning the heavyweight world championship is my dream,” Molina said in a statement announcing the showdown. “Just as it was Deontay’s dream, it’s mine now. He had his turn, though it will be short-lived. I will become the first Mexican-American heavyweight champion. Guaranteed. I’m coming to kick some a..”.
The showtime co feature will be a match between Puerto Rican Jose “The Sniper” Pedraza (19-0, 12 KOs) and Russian Andrey Klimov (19-1, 9 KOs) for the vacant IBF junior lightweight championship.