After two months of incarceration, junior middleweight beltholder Carlos Molina was released last week, signed with powerful advisor Al Haymon on Tuesday and is training in Mexico City for what promoter and attorney Leon Margules hopes will be "a big fight" in July either against unbeaten Jermall Charlo if not mandatory challenger Cornelius Bundrage.
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., the 30-year-old Molina (22-5-2, 6 knockouts) won his belt by dethroning Ishe Smith in September.
IBF President Daryl Peoples informed RingTV.com that Margules has applied for an exception which, if granted, would allow Molina to face Charlo before Bundrage in accordance with organization rules. Charlo is also advised by Haymon.
"We're either going to fight Bundrage, our mandatory, or we're going to try to do a bigger fight with an exception with the permission of the IBF. [Molina]'ll fight in July. I'm not asking for a guaranteed exception," said Margules, who still is attempting to sort out the immigration issues for Molina, originally from Michoacán, Mexico.
"One of the things that we're looking at is making the Charlo fight that we tried to make, so we'll see. The IBF follows its rules but I would think that they would give deference to the two fighters that trained to fight before and it didn't happen and now, we can reschedule it. I would think that that would be justice."
Peoples said the request for Molina facing Charlo is being reviewed.
"His exception request is for Charlo. What I am going to do now is to send something to [Bundrage’s advisor] Bill Waller on behalf of Bundrage and let him know that there has been a request for an exception and he will have 72 hours to respond," said Peoples.
"Once I get his response, I will send out the original exception request and Bill's response. Then I will schedule either a conference call or the other option would be to poll the board by email…the process is being set in motion right now. I will see everyone on Monday, so there is a possibility that we can have a decision rendered on Monday."
Under the IBF's rule number 11A for the request for exception, "an exception to the enforcement of any IBF/USBA rule may only be
made by a reigning champion and must be in writing setting forth the reasons for making such a request. Once the IBF/USBA has sent out the notice of the date of the purse bid or once a contract has been signed for a mandatory bout, no request for an exception can be made."
"We've already notified Molina that his mandatory is for on or before June 14," said Peoples, "so if they want to do a July date, that's after his mandatory."
Further, under 11B fee for requesting an exception, "Said written request shall be accompanied by a certified non-refundable exception application fee of $20,000.00. However, in the event the exception requested is due to an injury, disability or illness, which has been proven to and accepted by a physician approved by the President of the IBF/USBA, no fee is required."
The affected participant, namely Bundrage, would then have "72 hours to respond as to whether he is in agreement or has any objection and if so, to state said objection in writing," according to IBF rules. Any exception must be approved by a majority vote of the IBF's Board of Directors."
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.
"He certainly can do it in Mexico and he certainly can do it anywhere else in the world. He may or may not be able to do it in America for the time being," said Margules.
"He's scot-free in Mexico but he is not scot-free in the U.S. But we're moving forward in that direction in the U.S. and hopefully we'll be able to resolve all of this stuff shortly. It's a process."