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Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko: Briton ‘will not lose focus on Eric Molina’

Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua beat Charles Martin to win the IBF heavyweight title in his 16th professional fight, before defending it against Dominic Breazeale

Britain’s Anthony Joshua will not let a possible WBA heavyweight title bout against Wladimir Klitschko affect his IBF title defence against Eric Molina, says his promoter Eddie Hearn.

Joshua, unbeaten in 17 bouts, will face Molina in Manchester on 10 December after a planned fight with former champion Klitschko collapsed.

“Molina can hurt any heavyweight and Joshua is no exception,” said Hearn.

On Tuesday the WBA sanctioned a bout between Joshua, 27, and Klitschko, 40.

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Ukrainian Klitschko, who lost his WBA, IBF and WBO belts when he was beaten by Briton Tyson Fury in November 2015, said last month he wants to fight Joshua in “March or April”.

The WBA title vacated by Fury last month will be at stake if they meet.

Hearn said Klitschko will be ringside for Joshua’s meeting with 34-year-old Mexican Molina, who beat Poland’s Tomasz Adamek in April for the vacant IBF Inter-Continental heavyweight title.

“It is all irrelevant if he doesn’t beat Molina on 10 December,” Hearn told BBC World Service.

“Joshua is happy to sign for the Klitschko fight, but it would be a terrible mistake for him to start thinking about him; preparations for that fight; where it’s going to be; where the training camp going to be.”

“Anthony won’t let himself give even 5% of his focus to Klitschko until his hand is raised in Manchester.

“After that we can begin the build-up to what I believe is one of the biggest fights in British boxing history.”