The double-header featuring Erik Morales against fellow RING-rated 140-pound contender Danny Garcia and Carlos Molina against James Kirkland has been rescheduled for March 24 at the same venue — the Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas — according to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer.
The HBO-televised bouts were originally scheduled for Jan. 28 until Morales’ gall bladder surgery last Wednesday forced Monday’s announcement of his withdrawal from the first defense of his WBC belt.
“Everything is exactly the same, even the venue,” said Schaefer.
“So we were very fortunate to have been able to work that out with HBO and with the Reliant Stadium. They had it on hold for another event, but we were able to clear it and we just confirmed the date and the venue and we’ve informed all of the fighters.”
“We’ve checked as well with Erik Morales’ doctors, and he would have been able to go as early as mid-February or so, but there were no dates available,” said Schaefer. “So March is the perfect date, and Erik will be ready to go, and so are all of the other fighters, and we’re very, very excited about that.”
Morales (52-7, 36 knockouts), who was recently recognized by Ringtv.com readers as having the Comeback of the Year, has won four belts over as many weight classes, the first Mexican to do so. He is coming off September’s 10th-round TKO over previously unbeaten 21-year-old prospect Pablo Cesar Cano.
Garcia (22-0, 14 KOs) is coming off a unanimous decision over former titleholder Kendall Holt in October.
Molina (19-4-2, 6 KOs) has an unbeaten streak of 11-0-1 with two knockouts that includes having sandwiched a victory over two-time welterweight beltwinner Kermit Cintron in July and a draw with then-unbeaten southpaw Erislandy Lara in March around a seventh-round stoppage of Allen Conyers in April.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org