Undefeated 26-year old Heavyweight Fabio Wardley slowly figured out Eric Molina, and suddenly stopped the veteran after being hit cleanly in Round 5
GIBRALTAR (March 27, 2021) — Say whatever you want to say about DAZN, and Matchroom Boxing, but if you’re a fan of the Heavyweight division, the big boys get some solid placement on the streaming app.
We can’t always easily surmise how some of these international fighters fill out the lower half of the top 15 or 20 Heavyweights. Identifying future contenders is a chore. Fortunately, two-time challenger Eric Molina, of Welasco, Texas, took another assignment across the pond to give us an idea of what undefeated Fabio Wardley is truly about. Wardley, a 6-foot 5-inch 26-year old from Ipswich, Suffolk in eastern England, came into the bout as the English Heavyweight champion.
The opening round went off without revealing much. The veteran assessed the type of fighter he was dealing with the unpredictable and inexperienced opponent. Wardley (11-0, 10 KOs) feinted and stalked the 38-year old American around the ring with his hands lowered.
Molina (27-7, 19 KOs) asserted himself a little more in Round 2. He made an effort to attack the body of Brit. Wardley exerted a lot of energy, but had very little to show for it at round’s end.
Wardley started the third round jabbing. Molina came forward in the second minute. Wardley evaded most of the veteran’s punches. The Brit landed a solid right hand at the top of the final minute. He added a left hook cleanly as Molina came forward moments later.
The action in the subsequent round was back-and-forth. Molina found some success going to the body.
Molina connected with a big right hand, a well-timed trap, early in Round 5. Wardley moved back, showing some effects from the shot – his front leg buckled a little. Molina moved in looking to finish up Wardley, if possibly. The Brit moved around on the ropes to deal with the pressure. In the midst of Molina’s flurry, Wardley landed a few power punches inside and suddenly Molina was on his way down to the canvas. A short left hand, thrown from an awkward angle with little space separating the fighters, snapped Molina’s head around. The shot arrived just ahead of a right hand that came in over the top before the knockdown.
Molina’s head crashed to the canvas, he remained down beyond the 10-count, but when he got up he complained about being hit behind the head. The referee listened to Molina and his team as they pleaded their case, but :52 was the official time of stoppage. Wardley improved to 11-0 with his 10th knockout.
The bout streamed live on Sky Sports, on DAZN in the United States, and served as the co-main event to the rematch between top-ranked Heavyweights Alexander Povetkin and Dillian Whyte. Povetkin was defending his WBC Interim title.
All photos by Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing