On September 6th, IBF junior middleweight titlist Carlos Molina 22(6)-5-2 will square off against Cornelius Bundrage 33(19)-5(2) in Cancun, Mexico. This will be Molina's first title defense almost exactly a year after lifting the title from Ishe Smith via split decision. Just days before Molina was to defend his belt against Jermall Charlo last March on the Canelo Alvarez-Alfredo Angulo PPV undercard, Molina was arrested in Las Vegas on a 2007 outstanding warrant for failing to register as a sex offender in Wisconsin. After being incarcerated for two months, Molina was deported to Mexico.
Molina is ready to put last year's episode and his past behind him and move forward with his career:
"I understand that a lot of people are going to judge me, and that's their opinion, and that's the way that it is. But the thing is, this is something that happened when I was 18 years old. I was immature. But I'm 31 right now, so that was 13 years ago," said Molina.
"I ended up doing nine months for that, and I've learned from that. Now, I'm mature. I want to move forward and move on with my life from that point. Now, I have my own family, and I know what I'm doing. I never want to be in position to go to jail for any reason."
After losing a majority decision to Mike Alvarado in 2007, Molina ran up a record of 11-0-1 between 2008-2011, which included a draw against Erislandy Lara, and a unanimous decision over Kermit Cintron. In 2012, Molina was out boxing hard punching James Kirkland when Kirkland rocked Molina and then knocked him down at the end of the 10th round. Though Molina beat the referee's 10-count, one of Molina's cornermen thought the round was over and briefly entered and exited the ring, which forced referee Jon Schorle to disqualify Molina.
This isn't the first time that Molina has had his career interrupted by an extended absence from the ring:
"This isn't my longest lay off. I fought Lara after being out of the ring for almost two years without fighting because of a contract dispute with Don King," said Molina. "Being out for almost two years, I still got that draw, so it doesn't matter. I'm in the gym, sparring, running and doing everything that I should be doing, so that's not going to affect me."
Even though Molina has only scored 6 knockouts over 29 bouts and hasn't knocked out an opponent since 2011, he believes that he will knockout Bundrage:
"I think that you are going to see a knockout, and I think that I do need a knockout. I really think so. I think that you do need to look exciting. I'm still going to work my defense, but there are a couple of other things that I've been working on because, unfortunately, people don't get excited by defense, nowadays," said Molina.
The last fighter to knockout Cornelius Bundrage was Joel Julio in 2007.