NORTHPORT, Ala. — Deontay Wilder doesn't know a lot about his next opponent, but that's not a sign that he doesn't respect Eric Molina.
The 29-year-old WBC heavyweight champion's first title defense comes on June 13 at UAB's Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Alabama, about an hour from his hometown of Tuscaloosa. Wilder spoke Thursday before a workout Thursday that was open to reporters at his gym just outside Tuscaloosa.
"The only thing I know about Molina, he's tall," Wilder said. "He's 6-5, I think, maybe about 250, something like that. He's got a nice record. I think he's like 23-2 — I think. I hear he has a nice punch as well. That's about all I know about him. I don't study tape or film. I don't believe personally in it. I let my trainers break down film and tape from him, because I know once I fight him, he's going to have a different angle of attack toward me when I get in the ring.
"That's basically what I know about him. He sounds confident, but sometimes you can't let talk fool you, especially when you're dealing with fighters. This is part of it. You're supposed to promote, you're supposed to talk. But there comes a time when you have to back up your talk. It's called walking."
The lean 6-foot-7 Wilder started his pro career with 32 consecutive knockouts before winning the WBC title with a unanimous decision over Bermane Stiverne on Jan. 17.
Molina is 23-2 with 17 knockouts. Wilder said he can't take any opponent lightly.
"Every guy you have to be careful of in the heavyweight division, because this division is based on power," he said. "Some may have it, some may not. But this is the heavyweight division so everybody that gets in the ring is dangerous. You've got to respect that and you've got to approach that accordingly.
"I don't take nobody lightly. I don't play around with this."