PBC looking to yank Victor Ortiz from Sunday’s card
By Allan Fox: Premier Boxing Champions is actively looking for a replacement to take the spot held by Victor Ortiz to face John Molina Jr. this Sunday on Fox Sports 1 at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California. The Ortiz vs. Molina Jr. fight was scheduled for 12 rounds.
The fight card will still be taking place minus the 31-year-old Ortiz, who was charged with three sexual assault charges for an alleged incident in March in Oxnard, California. Ortiz was charged on Tuesday. PBC is looking for a replacement to face Molina Jr. (30-7, 24 KOs) in the main event. It’s still unclear whether a replacement can be found on short notice like this, as there’s only four days before the card takes place on Sunday.
Molina, 35, is a tough guy for someone to face on four days’ notice. If the show organizers can’t find someone that the hardcore boxing fans are familiar with, it might be better to scratch Molina from Sunday’s card as well. Sticking an unknown inside the ring with Molina Jr. wouldn’t be fair to that fight or the boxing fans. There are two interesting undercard fights that will be good substitutes for the Ortiz-Molina fight for the main event.
Ortiz (32-6-3, 25 KOs) was released from jail on $100,000 bail, but he’s still reportedly being pulled from this Sunday’s September 30 card on PBC. The card will still take place even if an opponent isn’t found for Molina Jr. to fight, according to ESPN. It’s possible that if an opponent can’t be found, he featherweight match-up between Brandon Figueroa and Oscar Escandon will be moved up to the main event. The 21-year-old Figueroa is an exciting young fighter with a lot of talent and a bright future. Figueroa’s opponent 34-year-old Escandon is a 2004 Olympian, who has shared the ring with the likes of Gary Russell Jr., Robinson Castellanos, Moises Flores and Nehomar Cermeno. Escandon best Castellanos by a 7th round knockout in 2016. In Escandon’s last two fights, he’s suffered losses to Russell Jr. and 2012 Olympic Silver medalist Tugstsog Nyambayar.
Also on this Sunday’s card are the following fights:
Joe Joyce vs. Iago Kiladze – 2016 super heavyweight Olympic Silver medalist Joe Joyce (5-0, 5 KOs) will be fighting former cruiserweight Iago Kiladze (26-3, 18 KOs) in an eight round fight. This is a good test for the 33-year-old Joyce to see what he’s made of, as Kiladze, 32, is a good solid heavyweight with experience against Adam Kownacki and Michael Hunter. Both of those guys stopped Kiladze. It would be saying a lot if Joyce can knockout Kiladze faster than those two fighters did.
James DeGale vs. TBA – Former IBF super middleweight champion DeGale (24-2-1, 14 KOs) is expected to take an easy opponent to help him come back from his three tough fights against Caleb Truax and Badou Jack. DeGale lost his IBF title to Truax in a 12 round majority decision last December. DeGale came into that fight having fought a really tough fight against Badou Jack in January of 2017. The fight was ruled a 12 round draw, but a lot of boxing fans felt that DeGale deserved a loss.