Carlos Molina-Jermall Charlo fight off
LAS VEGAS -- Junior middleweight titlist Carlos Molina remained jailed at the Clark County Detention Center on Friday over immigration issues, and his defense against Jermall Charlo was canceled.
"The fight is off," Warriors Boxing promoter Leon Margules told ESPN.com.
Molina was due to make his first title defense by facing Charlo on the Canelo Alvarez-Alfredo Angulo Showtime PPV undercard on Saturday night at the MGM Grand.
However, Molina was arrested on Tuesday in Las Vegas on an outstanding warrant from 2007 in Wisconsin because he failed to register as a sex offender following a '02 no-contest plea to statutory rape. Margules said it stemmed from an 18-year-old Molina having sex with his girlfriend, who was 15 or 16 at the time.
Margules, who is also an attorney, went to court, worked out the warrant situation and posted a $10,000 bond on Thursday, but Molina's release was later denied because Las Vegas police learned that he was also wanted by immigration officials for being in the United States illegally.
Molina was born in Mexico but has lived in the United States since he was 4. He lives in Chicago with his family.
"He's not getting out of jail to fight, and we don't know when he is getting out," Margules said. "It's because of his immigration status. He's an illegal alien."
Margules said Molina had been a legal permanent resident of the United States but that he agreed to be deported after losing that status following an arrest at the airport coming back to the United States from Mexico.
Molina had traveled to Mexico in December 2005 and fought to a draw with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in their first bout.
"Coming back to the United States from the fight, he found out he was no longer a permanent resident because of the felony conviction (for the 2002 statutory rape no-contest plea that led to the 2007 warrant) and agreed to be deported," Margules said. "He got back into the United States because he was snuck across the border and he's been here since.
"For doing what he did, coming here illegally after agreeing to be deported, it holds something like a 10-year prison sentence if convicted."
Margules said he was meeting with "a top immigration lawyer" on Molina's behalf on Friday night in Las Vegas.
Molina (22-5-2, 6 KOs), 30, was due to earn a career-high purse of $275,000 for the fight with Charlo (17-0, 13 KOs), 23, of Houston, who was due to earn $100,000. Neither will be paid.
"Molina is still in jail and there are other issues, a host of issues," said Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer, who promotes Charlo and is putting on Saturday night's card. "They guy's in jail and in a few hours we have a weigh in. So, obviously, the fight is off. It's a big disappointment for Charlo. He trained hard for this fight. It was special for him, going for his first world title. He was very excited. So it's a big letdown.
"I told him to keep his head up and that there will be other opportunities for him and that we'll get him another title shot. We have a bunch of upcoming shows and we'll get him in the mix."
Schaefer said that if Molina is unavailable to defend his title for an extended period and is stripped of the belt, he will lobby the IBF to allow Charlo to fight for the vacant title.
With Molina-Charlo off, Schaefer will put into place his contingency plan of replacing it on the pay-per-view telecast with another fight from the undercard that was not originally slated to air.
But it is an intriguing fight that promises action -- lightweight Ricardo Alvarez (23-2-3, 14 KOs), 32, Canelo's older brother, taking on Mexican countryman and former junior lightweight title challenger Sergio Thompson (28-3, 26 KOs), 30, in a scheduled 10-round bout. That fight will open the four-fight pay-per-view telecast.