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Deontay Wilder vs. Eric Molina
Round 1Wilder opens with his wide stance and left jab. Wilder throws a few more jabs as Molina just keeps a distance, throwing nothing. Molina looks very cautious, very timid as he tiptoes around the ring. Midway through the first round, Molina has to yet to throw much of anything while the champ continues to jab away, looking for an opening. Wilder digs a hard right to the body with a minute left. Wilder lands a jab/right hand to the head and it shakes Molina briefly. Molina tries a triple jab but he misses badly. Wilder closes the gap and lands a mostly blocked right hand to the head, but Molina is able to get a right uppercut on Wilder’s jaw at the bell. 10-9 Wilder.
Round 2Wilder comes right out with the jab as he triples it up and then doubles it. Molina flicks out a desperate right hand a minute in but he misses. Wilder is stalking him down as Molina continues to look very hesitant. Wilder crashes a vicious left hook to the body and then lands a nice right to the head. Molina takes it well and tries to fight back, but his punches are blocked. Molina comes through with a right to the head and then to the body, but Wilder pops him with a jab. “The Bronze Bomber” nails his challenger with another right hand at the bell. 10-9 Wilder.
Round 3Wilder flicks out the jab a few times, keeping the shorter Molina at bay. They trade hammering blows as Molina comes off the ropes. They trade right hands but take them well. Molina throws a right downstairs and then blasts him with a huge left hook, buckling the champ’s knees. Wilder is hurt but he covers up. Molina pressures him with a flurry but Wilder covers up again. Wilder seems to have cleared his head quickly and is now stalking Molina again. Molina is bleeding from his nose with 45 seconds left. The Mexican-American lands another nice left hand but Wilder walks through it. Wilder is able to connect with a right hand but it’s more glancing than anything. 10-9 Molina.
Round 4Molina backs up to start the frame as Wilder comes after him with the jab. Wilder is not throwing many punches at all as he just walks after Molina, who is throwing even less. Finally, Wilder doubles up the jab with a minute left. The hometown crowd is booing with 40 seconds left in the round, looking for something to happen. Molina continues to back up and traps himself in a neutral corner. With 10 seconds left, Wilder unfurls a nasty left hook, flooring Molina. He is hurt badly and struggles to get up. Referee Jack Reiss checks him and allows him to go on, but the round ends. 10-8 Wilder.
Round 5Wilder is in Terminator mode, but he’s cautious. Molina backs up into the ropes, not throwing his hands. Wilder goes with the jab and then avoids a frenzied left/right from the challenger. Wilder lands a piston-like right hand but Molina withstands it. At the midway point, Molina switches up and is now walking after Wilder. They engage and Wilder lands a clubbing right hand on the back of Molina’s head. Molina buckles and turns around, where he is hammered by another right hand. Molina turns his back completely and stumbles into the ropes – with his back still turned – and Wilder levels him with a nice left hand. Molina is down and in serious peril. He somehow climbs back to his feet and allowed to continue. Wilder is all over him, throws some wild haymakers as Molina runs across the ring and into the ropes. Another right hand drops Molina again. He gets back up and is warned by Reiss to show him something. He’s allowed to continue and is eventually saved by the bell. 10-7 Wilder.
Round 6Molina still looks groggy as the round begins but he’s coming right at Wilder. He’s not landing any of his power shots, but he’s keeping the champ honest for now. Wilder goes back to the jab but Molina is pressing the issue, throwing bombs to the head and body. Deontay covers up and blocks most of them, but Molina is trying he darnedest to win. Nice left hand by Wilder backs up his foe, and then follows it up with another. Molina’s head looks cleared with a minute left and digs a right to the ribs. Wilder is not active at all, opting instead to play defense. With 30 seconds left, Molina backs into a neutral corner and is clipped by a left hook and a right hand. Another left hook from Wilder but it’s mostly blocked. 10-9 Wilder.
Round 7Molina comes out aggressively again, but he is tagged by another short left hook and a right hand. Molina’s knees buckle again and he clinches. He has a long way to go before the bell and Wilder is all over him. Wilder unleashes a monstrous left hook but he misses. Molina escapes out the side and squares up with the champ. They clinch, with both men starting to look a little tired. Molina again clears his head and sticks his head in Wilder’s chest, pounding away at the body. Molina lands a series of glancing blows to the head and body, forcing Wilder into a phone booth-type brawl. Wilder backs away and is not letting his hands go at all. Wilder is looking tired at the end of the round but he clips his foe with a sweeping left hook at the bell. Very close round. 10-9 Molina.
Round 8Wilder pops out that jab early and often, getting back to basics. Wilder cracks him with a nice straight right and then smiles at Molina. The challenger can’t get inside now as Wilder is doubling up the jab nicely. Wilder misses a left hook and is tagged by a nice overhand right. Wilder isn’t hurt but he looks fatigued again. Molina backs away from Wilder, who suddenly has stopped throwing punches again. Molina has a chance to take the round but he’s not letting his hands go, either. Molina digs a nasty right to the body. Another. Another and then he comes upstairs with an uppercut. Molina opens up a nice flurry at the bell, likely stealing the round. 10-9 Molina.
Round 9Molina eats a few jabs and then misses a wild overhand right. He is promptly countered by a left hook. Wilder backs away, looking for an opening. Molina comes in with his head sticking way out and Wilder nails him with a perfect laser of a right hand. Molina stiffens and falls face first. Reiss rushes over and when Molina turns over, it’s stopped. Reiss won’t allow him to try to climb to his feet but Molina is protesting, albeit in a foggy haze. Molina bounces up and down in an effort to prove that he’s okay to fight but he’s mostly out on his feet. Good call by Reiss.
The Official ResultDeontay Wilder def. Eric Molina via TKO (ref stoppage) 1:03, R9
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