The IBF has denied a request by the handlers of junior middleweight titleholder Carlo Molina for an exception to face unbeaten Jermall Charlo, instead ordering Molina to face mandatory challenger and former organization beltholder Cornelius Bundrage by no later than late September, IBF Championship Chairman Lindsay Tucker informed RingTV.com on Tuesday.
"A majority of the board voted to deny that exception. At least 11 people are eligible to vote, and at least six voted to deny it. That means that Molina now has to face Bundrage," said Tucker.
"We gave him two weeks to negotiate to face Bundrage. They had been negotiating for a month before we received the request for the exception, so now we've given them an additional two weeks. If they can't come to an agreement, then we'll call for a purse bid."
Tucker said the parties have until June 9 to reach an agreement, and that if they don't, then "on June 10, a letter will go out calling for a purse bid."
"We have to give them 10 days, and June 20 is on a Friday," said Tucker. "So we will probably give them until Tuesday June 24. They will then have 90 days of the purse bid to put on a fight, so that means they'll have until Sept. 24."
With Sept. 24 being a Wednesday, the date would likely apply to either Sept. 20 or Sept. 27, each of which is a Saturday. Molina's promoter, Leon Margules, said that he plans to work with Bundrage's advisor, Bill Waller, on behalf of the fighter.
"I guess we're going to fight Bundrage. That's what the IBF decided, so we'll try to make a deal or go to purse bid," said Margules, of Warriors' Boxing. "I think that it's a fight that we can win. I'm not that concerned about it."
After two months of incarceration, the 31-year-old Molina (22-5-2, 6 knockouts) was released earlier this month, signed with powerful advisor Al Haymon, and was training in Mexico City for what Margules hoped would be "a big fight" in July, either against the 24-year-old Charlo (18-0, 14 KOs) or the 41-year-old Bundrage (33-5, 19 KOs).
Molina was arrested in Las Vegas on March 4, just four days before he was to defend against Charlo, for a 2007 warrant in Wisconsin for failing to register as a sex offender in that state. A Mexican citizen who also had immigration issues that prevented him from staying in the U.S., Molina won his belt by dethroning Ishe Smith last September.
Margules still is attempting to sort out the immigration issues for Molina, originally from Michoacán, Mexico. Whether or not Molina can defend his title on American soil "totally depends on what the court decides," said Margules in an earlier interview with RingTV.com.
"We're working on it," said Margules on Tuesday. "The fight could be in Mexico or the fight could be in the United States. We'll see what happens."
In other news, Tucker said that a purse bid has been called for June 3 for a defense by IBF welterweight titleholder Shawn Porter (24-0-1, 15 KOs) against mandatory challenger Kell Brook (32-0, 22 KOs) if their respective promoters, Golden Boy and Matchroom Sport, can not reach an agreement for a summer bout.
IBF President Daryl Peoples told RingTV.com in an earlier interview that Porter and Golden Boy were granted an exception to make an April 19 clash with ex-titleholder Paulie Malignaggi, whom Porter had cut and bloodied beneath the left eye with the first jab he landed, ultimately dropping him twice in the final round of a fourth-round stoppage victory.
Brook, who turned 28 on May 3, has won four straight by knockout and was last in the ring for April's eighth-round stoppage of Alvaro Robles. Prior to Robles, Brook floored Vyascheslav Senchenko twice en route to a fourth-round stoppage in October.