- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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There is a limit to the power wielded by manager/adviser Al Haymon. Usually, what he wants, he gets in boxing -- but don’t tell that to the IBF.
Junior middleweight titleholder Carlos Molina, who recently signed with Haymon, has a mandatory defense due against former titleholder Cornelius “K9” Bundrage, but Haymon and promoter Leon Margules requested an exception to allow Molina (22-5-2, 6 KOs) to instead face Jermall Charlo (18-0, 14 KOs), who is also with Haymon.
Molina-Charlo was originally scheduled for March 8 but was canceled a few days before the fight after Molina was jailed in Las Vegas and later deported to Mexico, where he is training and hoping to work out his immigration status and be allowed back in the United States.
Although Molina and Charlo hoped the IBF would allow the fight to be rescheduled, no dice. On Saturday, the IBF refused the request for the exception and ordered the mandatory against Bundrage as his next fight, which very much pleased Bundrage and his wife/manager Shawana.
Negotiations for Molina-Bundrage are to begin immediately, and if there is no deal between the camps, a purse bid likely will be scheduled in the next few weeks.
Bundrage (33-5, 19 KOs) outpointed Joey Hernandez on Jan. 24 in a final elimination fight to become the mandatory challenger for Molina.