DeCubas: Carlos Molina in ‘best shape of his life’ for Cornelius Bundrage
IBF junior middleweight beltholder Carlos Molina is “probably in the very best shape of his life” in advance of Saturday’s defense against former titleholder Cornelius Bundrage, Molina’s manager, Luis DeCubas Sr., told RingTV.com on Monday.
Molina (22-5-2, 6 knockouts) will face Bundrage (33-5, 19 KOs) at the Oasis Hotel Complex in Cancun, Mexico, where the 31-year-old has been training since July, according to DeCubas.
“Carlos is taking this fight very, very seriously and that’s because he knows the importance of this fight,” said DeCubas of Molina, who is advised by Al Haymon and promoted by Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing.
“He knows that if he wins that there are potentially a lot of important fights out there for him. If he can get by this guy, he knows that he’s got the most powerful advisor in the business in Al Haymon and I’m sure that Al is going to do something really good for Carlos after he wins this fight. I feel really comfortable with that.”
After two months of incarceration, Molina was released in June, signed with Haymon and was training in Mexico City for what Margules hoped would be “a big fight” in July either against the 24-year-old Jermall Charlo or the 41-year-old Bundrage.
Molina had been 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 preventing him from staying in the U.S., Molina won his belt by dethroning Ishe Smith in September of last year.
Molina will be ending a 13-month ring absence against Bundrage, who was last in action with a unanimous decision win over Joey Hernandez in January. The win helped Bundrage rebound after being dethroned by Smith via majority decision in February 2013.
“I’m fighting for my life here but there can never be too much pressure. Pressure is good,” said Molina during an interview with RingTV.com in late June. “I don’t see it in a bad way. I do want pressure. I like it. Look where I’m at. So it’s good though because it pushes me even harder.”
Molina has endured over the course of a career characterized by disputed decision losses and setbacks, one of which was a controversial disqualification to James Kirkland.
Against Kirkland, Molina was ahead on two judges’ cards when, in the 10th round of the 12-round title eliminator, a member of his corner stepped into the ring before the bell sounding the end of the round. Molina was disqualified as a result.
Molina has also faced former WBC middleweight beltholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. twice, battling him to a draw in 2005 and falling by six-round majority decision loss in 2006. Molina has also lost a an eight round majority decision to former beltholder Mike Alvarado in 2007.
“We know that every fight at this level is tough and that Carlos can’t afford to lose. Cornelius Bundrage is a former world champion and guys like that can always rise to the occasion,” said DuCubas.
“But I just see Carlos as being probably in the very best shape of his life and I just believe that he’s too hungry right now. He’s training in Mexico City but he also trains in the mountains. They’re doing a lot of high-altitude training. The whole time that he’s been there, he’s been training.”
Margules still is attempting to sort out the immigration issues for Molina, originally from Michoac├ín, Mexico.
“He’s got no felony convictions. His cases are all over and they’ve vacated his felony convictions, so he’s no longer a convicted felon,” said Margules of Molina.
“So there is nothing that prevents him from staying in the United States but he agreed to be deported, so he can’t come back to the United States unless he gets a special visa. But what got him deported is no longer on his record.”