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Rodriguez misses weight, loses shot at Ward's title

Dan Rafael
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Edwin Rodriguez weighed in at 170 lbs, two more than the supper middleweight division limit © Getty Images
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Super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez missed weight by two pounds at Friday's weigh-in, costing him a chance to win the world title against champion Andre Ward.

Rodriguez is due to fight Ward on Saturday night at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California, but Rodriguez is no longer eligible to win the championship after weighing in at 170 lbs, two more than the division limit. If Ward, returning from a 14-month lay-off because of surgery for a right shoulder tear, loses the fight, he still will retain the title. He weighed 167.8 lbs.

Under California State Athletic Commission rules, Rodriguez had two hours to try to shed the extra two pounds.

"We're going to work on [losing the two pounds]. I feel pretty good," Rodriguez said while still at the scale after being overweight. "I'm gonna work on it."

But Rodriguez was depleted. He had nothing left to lose, and he never went back to the scale to weigh in again.

"I think there's a chance Edwin might not be able to make this weight again," Lou DiBella, Rodriguez's promoter, told ESPN. "He couldn't lose another ounce. He couldn't even spit."

For missing weight, the commission fined Rodriguez 20 percent of his career-high $1 million purse. Of the $200,000 fine, half will go to the commission and the remaining $100,000 will be given to Ward, boosting his purse from $1.9 million to $2 million.

As part of a deal made with the Ward camp, Rodriguez is required to reweigh at 9 a.m. PT on Saturday and cannot be heavier than 180 pounds. And if he weighs more than 180? "It's at his peril," DiBella said.

There also were ongoing discussions between the camps about Rodriguez (24-0, 16 KOs) making an additional payment to Ward (26-0, 13 KOs) to go through with the fight, but there was no resolution as of Friday night.

DiBella, a vocal critic of fighters who fail to make weight, did not hold back on his own fighter.

"I'm greatly disappointed and I'm really annoyed," DiBella said. "I'm not a hypocrite. I've been public about this situation with other fighters and talked about their unprofessionalism, and I'm not going to change my tune because he's my fighter.

"This is the opportunity of your lifetime, this is everything to this kid and his family, and I'm greatly disappointed. I truly believe in him as a fighter and that he had a chance to do something great, and now he is in a situation where he can't win the belt, and he has been docked money his family desperately needed, and I have a hard time believing he will be at his best. I have empathy if he simply couldn't make the weight, but that doesn't change the annoyance or disappointment or stop me from saying I'm sorry on behalf of his team to Andre Ward, Ward's team, HBO and to the fans."

This article originally appeared on ESPN.com
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