November 1, 2016 / 4:11 PM / in a year

Joshua to fight Molina in second defense of IBF belt

LONDON (Reuters) - Anthony Joshua will put his IBF world heavyweight title on the line against American Eric Molina in Manchester on Dec. 10, the British fighter’s camp said on Tuesday.

Britain Boxing - Anthony Joshua v Dominic Breazeale IBF World Heavyweight Title - The O2 Arena, London - 25/6/16 Anthony Joshua celebrates his win Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Couldridge Livepic

“I‘m expecting this to be the toughest fight of my career so far and I will be ready for an all-out war,” Joshua, who will be making his second defense of the belt, said in a statement.

In April he stopped American Dominic Breazeale in the seventh round to take his professional record to 17-0.

Molina, 34, has fought for the world title once before, losing to Deontay Wilder for the WBC crown in 2015.

Joshua had been linked to a potential clash with veteran Wladimir Klitschko who lost his IBF, WBO and WBA belts to Tyson Fury last November. Klitschko hopes of a re-match were scuppered by Fury’s mental health issues.

That fight could take place early next year, according to Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn.

“Although the plans are for a major unification in the spring this fight requires Anthony’s full focus,” Hearn said.

Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond

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