Anthony Joshua is the ‘present and future’ of heavyweight division and will continue a dominant era with victory over Wladimir Klitschko, says former opponent Eric Molina.

IBF champion Joshua successfully defended his title with a knockout triumph over Molina in December to set up a enormous Wembley fight with Wladimir Klitschko on April 29.

In a battle of youth against experience, Joshua puts his 18-fight unbeaten record on the line against Klitschko, who enjoyed a 10-year reign as world champion, and Molina trusts ‘AJ’ might already have progressed past the veteran.

“He’s a great champion and I personally do not see too many heavyweights beating him, he’s very strong,” Molina exclusively told Sky Sports.

“One thing that Joshua has shown is, he’s getting bigger, better, faster, stronger, every fight.”

“I don’t want to disrespect Klitschko, but the torch is going to be passed that night. If it hasn’t been already, I think it’s going to officially get passed.”

Molina, who hopes to fight again this summer, extended Deontay Wilder into the ninth round before suffering defeat, and insists the WBC champion could be the only remaining fighter to stand in the way of Joshua.

Molina stated: “If he goes through Klitschko, which I believe that he can, there is only one fight left for him after that and that is the fight that everybody knows – the Wilder-Joshua fight.”

“After that fight, I don’t really see much else out there for him, maybe Tyson Fury, but yes definitely he is the present and the future.”

After patiently probing for openings, Joshua stopped Molina with a brutal assault in the third round, and the experienced Texan insists no tactical changes would have prevented this destructive conclusion.

“Had I attacked him, had I came out a little bit quicker, I think it was still going to end the same way,” said Molina. “There was nothing that I could have done, from what I brought to the table, and the way I fight.”

“I always fight a certain way. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose and that’s the way boxing is.”

“If I had come out the gate and maybe pressed him a little bit more, I think it was going to be inevitable he was going to hurt me at any given moment, the same way.”