- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Junior middleweight titlist Ishe Smith suffered a cut over his right eye in a weekend sparring session while training for his mandatory fight with Carlos Molina, forcing the bout to be postponed.
Smith, the first fighter born in the boxing capital of Las Vegas to win a world title, was due to make his first defense against Molina on July 19 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Smith's hometown.
"I suffered an injury [Saturday], a minor setback in my preparation to face off against Molina," Smith wrote on his Facebook page. "I want to make sure I am properly prepared and in the best form possible to fight him. Not only does he deserve to fight me at my best, but also my family, friends and training team deserve to have me fight at 100 percent.
"It's very hard to postpone after we have had such a great camp, but the sport of boxing and the fans deserve to watch Molina and I fight at our peak fitness levels, and I just can't provide that with the untimely injury. With that said, I will be postponing our July 19th fight in order to heal from a cut on my eye."
Smith (25-5, 11 KOs), 34, a former contestant on the reality series "The Contender," claimed a 154-pound world title by winning a decision against Cornelius "K9" Bundrage on Feb. 23. Smith is close to pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather and is the first fighter to win a world title for his Mayweather Promotions. Molina (21-5-2, 6 KOs), 30, who was born in Mexico and lives in Chicago, won a lopsided decision against former titleholder Cory Spinks on Feb. 1 in a title eliminator to become Smith's mandatory challenger.
"We are very disappointed. Carlos was looking forward to the fight," Luis DeCubas Sr., Molina's adviser, told ESPN.com. "We'll reschedule the fight and Carlos will be ready to go. He is always training. We were ready to go on July 19, but an injury is an injury."
DeCubas said that Leonard Ellerbe of Mayweather Promotions has not gotten specific about a date to reschedule the fight on.
The bout was due to headline a Showtime-televised tripleheader, but although main event is off, the card will go forward as a doubleheader edition of the network's prospect-oriented series "ShoBox: The New Generation."
According to Showtime, the card will feature a pair of scheduled 10-round bouts: Cleveland lightweight Mickey Bey (18-0-1, 9 KOs), 30, taking on John Molina (25-3, 20 KOs), 30, of Covina, Calif. -- no relation to Carlos -- and super middleweight Badou Jack (14-0, 10 KOs) facing Farah Ennis (21-1, 12 KOs), 30, of Philadelphia.
The fight will be Bey's first since he failed a post-fight drug test for significantly elevated levels of testosterone following a Feb. 2 knockout win against Robert Rodriguez in Las Vegas.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission changed the result of the bout to a no contest, suspended Bey for three months and fined him $1,000 of his $8,000 purse. Bey's drug screen showed his testosterone to epitestosterone ratio (T/E) being greater than 30-1. Nevada allows a ratio of 6-1. Bey's ratio was the second highest in Nevada history, according to Nevada commission executive director Keith Kizer.
Jack, 29, a 2008 Olympian for Gambia who was born in Sweden and lives in Las Vegas, is coming off a third-round knockout of Michael Gbenga on May 4 on the undercard of Mayweather's win against Robert Guerrero in Las Vegas.
5dMalik Smith, ESPN Stats & Information