Junior middleweight contender Carlos Molina, a guy nobody really wants to fight, is the reason why mandatory challengers exist. If a sanctioning organization did not make him a mandatory challenger, it is very likely he would never get a title shot because he’s too much risk for too little reward.
But Chicago’s Molina (21-5-2, 6 KOs) now has a deal in place for his first world title opportunity. He won a lopsided decision against former titleholder Cory Spinks on Feb. 1 in a title eliminator to become the IBF’s mandatory challenger and, according to Warriors Boxing promoter Leon Margules, Molina’s promoter, a deal has been reached for Molina to get his shot against titleholder Ishe Smith.
Smith (25-5, 11 KOs), the first native of Las Vegas to win a world title, claimed a 154-pound belt via decision against Cornelius “K9” Bundrage on Feb. 23 and is obligated to make his first defense against Molina.
Margules said he worked out a deal with Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe for the fight, so a scheduled April 16 purse bid was called off. Margules said the terms of their agreement call for the bout to take place on or before July 27 at a site to be determined.
“We made an agreement to let [Mayweather Promotions] promote the fight,” Margules said. “We made a deal on the money, on the airline tickets, on the parameters of the fight. I went back and forth with Leonard and we worked it out.”
Now the sides have two weeks to send signed contracts to the IBF.
Nobody handed Molina the shot. He actually earned it following a return to the ring in 2011 after a nearly two-year layoff caused by a promotional battle with Don King.
Upon his return, Molina got a draw in a fight he deserved to win against top contender Erislandy Lara, knocked out Allen Conyers, rolled past former welterweight titlist Kermit Cintron and then dominated James Kirkland before being wrongly disqualified in the 10th round. Two more wins followed, a shutout of Damian Frias and then the easy win over Spinks.
“I think Molina can beat anybody in the division, whether it’s Ishe Smith, Canelo Alvarez, Austin Trout, anybody,” Margules said. “He’s hell for anybody, so we’re excited to get a shot at the title.”