Welterweight Javier Molina, who has battled right hand injuries throughout his career, suffered yet another one, forcing him to withdraw from his Jan. 24 fight with former junior welterweight titlist Kendall Holt.
Molina (14-1, 6 KOs), a 2008 U.S. Olympian, broke his right hand in a sparring session on Wednesday. It is the fourth time Molina has broken his right hand. He is scheduled to have surgery on Tuesday.
"It's truly an unfortunate situation for Javier, who has been saddled with hand injuries since the beginning of his professional career," promoter Dan Goossen said. "This is the fourth fracture of his hands he's had to endure. I feel terrible with what this good young man has had to overcome so early in his career."
The 23-year-old Molina, of Norwalk, Calif., has moved a bit slowly because of the hand injuries. He hoped beating a well-known former titleholder in Holt would put his career on a faster track. But he has not been able to stay healthy.
"Boxing fans have seen many fighters suffer similar hand injuries as Javier's and still become world champions," Goossen said. "One of the most prominent is (former welterweight and junior welterweight titlist) Paulie Malignaggi, who has had to overcome numerous hand injuries, eventually overcoming them and attaining a highly successful career."
Goossen said that Molina was examined in Los Angeles by hand specialist Dr. Steve Shin, who will perform the surgery.
"We are taking every step to ensure the best treatment for his eventual return to the ring. Dr. Shin believes he'll be ready to return to training between three and four months," said Arnulfo Bravo, Molina's manager.
Molina-Holt was due to headline an ESPN2 "Friday Nights Fights" card at the Little Creek Casino in Shelton, Wash. Unable to find a suitable replacement to face Holt (28-6, 16 KOs), who was moving up in weight and hoping to rebound from an eighth-round knockout to Lamont Peterson in a world title fight last February, the new main event will be a scheduled 10-round light heavyweight fight between unbeaten prospect Thomas Williams Jr. and Cornelius White, who were originally scheduled to fight on the undercard.
Williams (15-0, 10 KOs), a 26-year-old southpaw from Fort Washington, Md., scored his biggest win in his last fight, a lopsided 10-round unanimous decision against former two-time world title challenger Yusaf Mack on Nov. 26.
In his last fight, which was in June, White (21-2, 16 KOs), 32, of Houston, got knocked down three times in a one-sided third-round knockout loss to Sergey Kovalev, who went on to win a light heavyweight world title in his next fight. In his only other defeat, White suffered a first-round knockout loss to Donovan George in 2011.
Between the two losses, White won five consecutive fights, including decisions against former Cuban amateur standout Yordanis Despaigne and former world title challenger Dmitry Sukhotsky.
"Williams is looking to continue his ascent towards becoming a world champion, and White will be looking to get back on the winning track following his fight with world champion Sergey Kovalev," Goossen said.
The co-feature remains intact and will pit former junior featherweight titlist Rico Ramos (22-3, 12 KOs) against Jonathan Arrellano (14-2-2, 3 KOs) in a 10-round featherweight showdown between Southern California fighters.
With Molina being forced out of the bout that means three consecutive "Friday Night Fights" main events that have fallen apart in the first four cards of the season. Junior lightweight contender Arash Usmanee suffered an ankle injury, forcing him out of this week's main event against Juan Antonio Rodriguez, who will instead face late replacement Yenfiel Vicente.
Also, former light heavyweight and cruiserweight titlist Zsolt Erdei, citing personal reasons, pulled out of the Jan. 31 light heavyweight main event against Elvir Muriqi, who instead will face substitute Blake Caparello.