Showtime's boxing coverage returned in a big way to close out the year, with three title fights being shown by the premium cable network, all eyes however were on the heavyweights.
British boxing superstar Anthony Joshua successfully defended his IBF world heavyweight crown by stopping Eric Molina via TKO in the third round.
Molina looked tentative in the first, as he backed himself against the ropes. One couldn't really tell if Molina was perhaps baiting Joshua and waiting to counter with a big right hand, or if he was simply feeling dwarfed by the moment in front of over 20,000 raucous Joshua supporters.
The second looked much like the first, with the exception of Molina throwing a couple of right hands to no avail. Joshua for his part remained composed, almost as if he were taking a casual stroll in the park. He effectively used his jab and essentially picked his shots as Molina offered very little resistance.
Finally, in the third round, Joshua found Molina's chin with a thunderous straight right that dropped Molina into the corner. Molina didn't look too eager to get up and it looked like it took him just about the entire count to convince the referee that he was interested in continuing.
Joshua then moved in and closed the deal with a flurry that forced the referee to save Molina from further abuse. An impressive win for Joshua, who has now knocked out all eighteen opponents who have dared to step into the ring with him in his pro career.
After the fight, Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn entered the ring to officially make the announcement that Joshua's next opponent would be Wladimir Klitschko on April 29th in London. Klitschko was then invited to enter the ring and the two fighters exchanged mutual respect in interviews as they began hyping their upcoming fight.