- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Juan Carlos Sanchez of Mexico was stripped of his junior bantamweight world title on Saturday morning because, although he was told at Friday's weigh-in that he made the requisite 115-pound weight limit, he was actually slightly overweight, Lee Samuels, spokesman for promoter Top Rank, told ESPN.com.
Sanchez was due to make his third title defense against mandatory challenger Roberto Domingo Sosa of Argentina on Saturday in the main event of "Solo Boxeo Tecate" (UniMax, 11 p.m. ET/PT) at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
The fight will still go on, but the title is vacant and will remain so if Sanchez (15-1-1, 8 KOs), 22, wins. If Sosa (24-0, 14 KOs), 28, wins, he will claim the belt.
When Sanchez, who is fighting in the United States for the first time, stepped on the digital scale on Friday afternoon he was 116 pounds and had two hours under IBF rules to lose the weight. When he returned a half hour later Samuels said that Sanchez was 115.5 pounds.
Samuels said that when Sanchez returned for a second time with about 10 minutes to spare in the two-hour window, IBF supervisor Aaron Kizer announced that he was 115 pounds and had made weight.
At that point Samuels said that the Nevada State Athletic Commission was no longer supervising the weigh-in because under its rules fighters have only one hour to make weight. As far as the commission was concerned the weigh-in was over with Sanchez's official weight being 115.5 pounds.
Under IBF rules for world title fights, boxers are required to reweigh on the morning of the bout to make sure they do not put on more than 10 pounds following the official weigh-in. Both fighters reported for the morning weight check but before they got on the scale, Samuels said that Kizer made the announcement that Sanchez's final Friday weight was actually 115.2 pounds.
"He said he thought he could round it down to 115, but the IBF headquarters told him later he couldn't and that he had made a mistake," Samuels said. "Obviously, Sanchez and his team were not happy because they had been told him his weight was OK on Friday."
It is unlikely that even had Sanchez known he was still slightly over 115 pounds that he would have been able to shed the extra weight since he had only about 10 minutes left in the two-hour window that the IBF allows.
Sanchez outpointed Rodrigo Guerrero in February 2012 to win the belt and then made two defenses, taking a lopsided decision against former junior bantamweight titlist Juan Alberto Rosas and knocking out former junior flyweight titleholder Rodel Mayol in the ninth round.
In the co-feature on the card, blue-chip junior featherweight prospect Jessie Magdaleno (14-0, 10 KOs) of Las Vegas squares off with Henry Maldonado (16-1, 11 KOs) of Nicaragua in a scheduled eight-round fight.
18hMalik Smith, ESPN Stats & Information