Heavyweight Deontay Wilder makes first title defense against Molina, David Lemieux to face Hassan N'Dam

May 15, 2015

Undefeated heavyweight champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (33-0, 32 KOs) of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will make his first title defense in his own backyard when he faces Eric Molina (23-2, 17 KOs) on Saturday, June 13, at Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Alabama.  The bout will be televised by Showtime, and will be a 12-rounder for the WBC belt.

"It's a wonderful feeling to be able to defend my heavyweight championship in my home state,’’ Wilder said. “I've been waiting for this moment for a long time."

The 6-foot-7 Wilder captured the heavyweight world championship with an impressive 12-round unanimous decision over defending titleholder Bermane Stiverne on January 17.  It was the first time the hard-hitting Wilder, 29, had fought more than four full rounds, and the only time in his seven-year career that one of his fights went to the judges.

"It was one of my dreams to win a world title," said Wilder, the first undefeated American to win a heavyweight title since Michael Moorer in 1994.  "This was my other dream to be able to defend it before all my fans in Alabama. I can't wait until fight night to step into the ring and see the whole state coming out to support me."

Wilder started boxing at the age of 21 after his daughter Naieya was born with spina bifida.  Despite his late start in boxing, Wilder would go on to represent the United States in the 2008 Olympic Games, where he won a bronze medal.  He is the last American male boxer to medal in the Olympics.

Until going the distance against Stiverne, Wilder hadn’t come close to putting in a full night’s work since turning pro in November 2008.  The then-virtually untested slugger had fought a total of 58 rounds, an average of 1.8 rounds per outing.  He’s registered 18 knockouts in the first round, eight in the second.

Molina, a 6-foot-5 southpaw, has good power and has been on a hot streak too, having won five straight fights, including three consecutive by knockout.  If triumphant, the 32-year-old would become the first Mexican-American heavyweight world champion.

“Winning the heavyweight world championship is my dream," said Molina.  "Just as it was Deontay’s dream, it’s mine now.  He had his turn, though it will be short-lived.  I will become the first Mexican-American heavyweight champion.  Guaranteed.  So, champ, come prepared for war.  I’m coming to kick some ass.”

In the co-feature, Puerto Rico's undefeated Jose Pedraza (19-0, 12 KOs) will take on Russia's Andrey Klimov (19-1, 9 KOs) in a 12-round fight for the vacant IBF Junior Lightweight World Championship.

David Lemieux and Hassan N'Dam to battle for IBF Middleweight belt

In a very intriguing 12-round title bout between two top middleweights, Quebec power puncher David Lemieux (33-2, 31 KOs) and number one contender Hassan N'Dam (31-1,18 KOs) will clash for the IBF Middleweight World Championship on Saturday, June 20, at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.

"It was really important for my team and I to bring this fight here to Quebec," said Lemieux. "The fans here have supported me from the beginning of my career and for that I am extremely grateful. I want to live this significant moment of my career with Quebecers and will do all that I can for them to be proud of me. I am ready to offer the very best of myself. Those close to me and my fans will see all the blood they want!"

Lemieux recently captured the attention of the boxing world with his impressive win against contender Gabriel Rosado in Brooklyn on December 2014.  Currently ranked as a top ten middleweight by the IBF, WBO, and WBA, Lemieux is coming off of his eighth consecutive win and seventh consecutive knockout.

Meanwhile, N'Dam impressed local West Coast fans in Los Angeles when he dominated American Curtis Stevens in October 2014.

"I'm thrilled to be fighting for the middleweight championship," said Hassan N'Dam. "I've very thankful to King Sports for making this happen and I look forward to fighting in Montreal and leaving with the title."

The undercard will feature some of the most talented boxers in Quebec, including Dierry Jean (28-1, 20 KOs), Schiller Hyppolite (15-1, 10 KOs), Ghislain Maduma (16-1, 10 KOs), Steven Butler (11-0, 9 KOs), Mian Hussain (11-0, 6 KOs), Ayaz Hussain (5-0, 3 KOs), Yves Ulysse Jr. (6-0 , 4 KOs), and Mathieu Germain (1-0). Jean, Hyppolite, and Butler will fight respectively for the NABF Lightweight title, the WBC World Francophone Light Heavyweight title, and the North American Youth Super Welterweight title.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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