BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Under a scorching summer sun on Friday in "The Magic City," both Deontay Wilder and Eric Molina took the scale in downtown Birmingham on to weigh in ahead of Saturday night's fight.
After relaying to the media Thursday that only 200 tickets remained for the inaugural title fight in the state of Alabama, those in attendance at Birmingham's City Hall were poised to hear that by noon Friday all tickets were sold out.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that we'd be hosting a world title fight in the state of Alabama, but I'm pleased to announce that we're completely out of tickets, so let's give it up to Birmingham for making this happen," said a happy Gene Hallman, the CEO of Bruno Event Team, a critical piece to the puzzle in assembling this event.
With music playing in the background and Jimmy Lennon Jr. holding the microphone on stage, both competitors made their way to the scale.
Molina weighed in at 239¼ pounds while Wilder weighed in at 229. Then came the faceoff.
You ready? pic.twitter.com/Za4NUXA5xf— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) June 12, 2015
This was an awesome spectacle. Alabamians had Lennon, they had Don King, they had the hometown favorite in Wilder -- and they had it all in their state.
"Oh yeah, there's been a big noticeable difference for boxing to me in this state with [Wilder]," said Martin Juarez, an owner of a gym in Birmingham and a referee in fights across the state. "It's increased a lot of the sport's visibility that normally wouldn't be there. He's got a lot of tests in front of him, this not really being one of them, but it brings a lot of economic value for this state and visibility for the sport that I love."
This all leads into Saturday night, where many -- a sold-out crowd of 8,508 people to be exact -- expect to see an exciting fight.
Exciting, though, depends on your preference. If you like knockouts, you should be excited, according to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports who said on the radio in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, "I'll be really surprised if Eric makes it past two or three rounds. He has won no fight that would say he's supposed to be fighting for the heavyweight title."
Wilder confirmed that Friday post his weigh-in saying, "I said the third round is going to be exciting. It can go lesser than that, though, the way I'm feeling."
He offered to lend some insight to fans as well, "Don't go to the bathroom, don't get nothing to eat, get that before time. Load up on five or six hot dogs, load up on nachos with cheese, but get that before time because this is going to be an exciting fight."
Those fans are just hoping that the "hotdogging" Wilder's loaded up on throughout the week doesn't hurt his chances come Saturday night.