THE countdown is well and truly underway for what is set to be one of the biggest nights of boxing this year.

Saturday night sees Anthony Joshua take on title challenger Eric Molina. Joshua is putting his IBF belt on the line at a sell-out Manchester Arena this Saturday.

An open training session was held on Tuesday night in front hundreds of people at the Arena, giving fans a glimpse into the preparations of Joshua, Molina and an impressive undercard line up including Dillian Whyte, who will defend his British heavyweight title against Dereck Chisora.

Local boxer Marcus Morrison, one of a number of British boxers included on the undercard boasts an impressive unbeaten record of 13 wins and 10 knock-outs, but is yet to contend for his first title, and Hosea Burton, another Manchester based boxer will be fighting Londoner Frank Buglioni for the British Title.

Bury born Scott Quigg will be making his first appearance since February, after he suffered a broken jaw in his last bantamweight fight against Carl Frampton.

Unbeaten in 17 bouts, Anthony Joshua finished Charles Martins inside two rounds to clinch the IBF heavyweight title, and it wouldn’t be wise to underestimate Molina, despite the Texan’s underdog label.

At Tuesday’s open training session Molina told, “We’re focused on Saturday night. I’m looking forward to it, this is everything for me. There is no other option for me.
“I know it’s going to be a great fight with a great atmosphere, in a great city, and we’re ready.

Anthony Joshua vs Eric Molina
Eric Molina after his open workout. Image by: Andrew Collinson

In terms of preparation, Molina has only had 40 days to focus for this fight, and while he can’t predict how each round will go, there are certain aspects of the fight which he knows he can train for.

“You don’t get to finesse yourself into twelve rounds, but one thing you can train for is the knockout punch. Me and my guys have exclusively trained on the knockout punch, that’s the only way I’m going to win anyway,” Molina said.

“For ten years of my career I was an underdog. People are going to see a fighter that, if he’s breathing, he can win. Believe me, I can win with one punch.

“I just feel like the media has prepped this guy into a legend already, hold on. We’ll find out soon.”

Doors at the Manchester Arena open at 5pm, with fights starting from 17:30. The bell for the first round of the main fight is set to ring at around 11pm – but this is subject to change.

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