Junior middleweight titlist Carlos Molina will face mandatory challenger and former titleholder Cornelius "K9" Bundrage on or before Sept. 6 in Cancun, Mexico after their camps made a deal and avoided a purse bid scheduled on Monday.
Warriors Boxing promoter Leon Margules and Bundrage's K-9 Boxing Global Promotions made a deal to co-promote the fight. Terms were not disclosed, but had the purse bid taken place, the minimum bid was $100,000 with Molina entitled to 75 percent of the money and Bundrage 25 percent.
Margules told ESPN.com that the likely date is Sept. 6 but that it could be sooner depending on the television deal he can secure for the fight.
"I'll start working on the TV stuff and see what we can work out," Margules said. "Now I have work to do."
Molina, 31, won the belt by split decision against Ishe Smith in September and was due to make his first defense against Jermall Charlo on March 8 in Las Vegas on the Canelo Alvarez-Alfredo Angulo Showtime PPV undercard. However, the fight was canceled a few days beforehand after Molina (22-5-2, 6 KOs), a longtime Chicago resident, was jailed in Las Vegas on an outstanding warrant for failing to register as a sex offender for a past conviction.
While he was in custody, it was discovered that he was in the United States illegally and he was eventually deported to his native country of Mexico, where he has been training and trying to work out his immigration status.
But with time ticking down on the mandatory defense being due, Margules and the Bundrage camp worked out a deal to have the fight in Mexico.
"Wherever the fight is I think Molina is a difficult guy to beat and (Bundrage) is an older guy," Margules said. "Molina is training hard and he's been pushing me to do the fight sooner that Sept. 6. It's a mandatory so we have to do it. We tried to reschedule the fight with Charlo, but the mandatory was ordered so we're fighting the mandatory. But I like my guy in the fight."
Molina had sought an exception to reschedule the Charlo fight and put off the mandatory defense, but the IBF refused to approve the exception because the mandatory was due.
Bundrage (33-5, 19 KOs), 41, of Detroit, who first made his name on "The Contender" reality series, won the belt from Cory Spinks by fifth-round knockout in 2010 and made two successful defenses before losing it to Smith by majority decision in February 2013. Smith then lost the title to Molina in his first defense.
Bundrage bounced back to easily outpoint Joey Hernandez on Jan. 24 in a title eliminator to become Molina's mandatory challenger.
"I'm excited to be fighting for the IBF world title for the second time in my career. I really take my hat off to the IBF president Daryl Peoples, championship chairman Lindsey Tucker as well as all the board members who voted in my favor denying the exception request, allowing me the opportunity to become a two-time world champion," Bundrage said. "Carlos Molina is a good fighter he reminds me of myself. He came up the hard way; nobody gave him anything. He worked hard to become a world champion.
"I'm looking forward to mixing it up in the ring with Molina. It's going to be a great fight between two experienced warriors at junior middleweight. Both of our backs are against the wall, which makes for an exciting fight."