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Deontay Wilder should breeze through his first title defence, writes

12 Jun | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Deontay Wilder should breeze through his first title defence, writes

Boxing News’ George Gigney thinks it will be a short night's work for the champion

At first glance, Deontay Wilder’s maiden defence of his WBC heavyweight world title against Eric Molina on Saturday seems a no-go for punters.

Molina, rightfully so, is a 16/1 underdog while the champion is a huge 1/100.

However, on closer inspection there could be some value at backing an early knockout for Wilder, who has stopped all but one of his 33 victims.

That anomaly came in his most recent outing, when he masterfully outpointed Bermane Stiverne in January for the crown he defends against Molina. That fight was Wilder’s first real test and, while he couldn’t maintain his 100% knockout ratio, he passed it with flying colours.

Prior to that, the Tuscaloosa native had never been taken past four rounds, albeit against overmatched and underwhelming opposition – a category Molina falls into.

The 33-year-old’s record of 23 wins and two losses could be regarded as respectable, but given the lack of real contenders he’s faced it becomes clear the Texas man doesn’t deserve his title shot.

In 2012, he fought future world title challenger Chris Arreola for two and a half minutes before being knocked out – it was the second first-round knockout loss of his career, the first coming in his professional debut.

Since then he has racked up five straight wins and is on a three-fight knockout streak, but with those opponents having a combined record of 108-82-7, there is little to celebrate. The most recent of those victories was an eighth round stoppage of Raphael Zumbano Love, a man Anthony Joshua needed just two rounds to despatch of.

Unfortunately for Molina, Wilder is something of a first-round knockout specialist, with 18 of his wins coming in the opening stanza. Fighting in his home state of Alabama, the champion’s chances of ending the fight in that round are at a decent 2/1.

Slightly better value for money can be found in a third-round victory for Wilder, at 4-1, and looks to be the pick of the bunch. The challenger has shown toughness in the past, for example surviving a 12th round knockdown against Tony Grano in 2013, and his strong right hand may give Wilder something to think about early.