Shakur Stevenson has been stripped of his super-featherweight world titles after showing up 1.6lb over the 130lb limit for his defence against Robson Conceicao.
The Newark, New Jersey native was set for a world title homecoming at the Prudential Center in his hometown, but now will have to move on without his WBC and WBO belts. He was given two hours to drop the extra pound-and-a-half by the commission in New Jersey, but was unable to get the final amount off and has forfeited the titles.
He now faces Conceicao, who himself tipped the scales just under the limit at 129.6lb, without the belts on the line, although the challenger can still win them. However, a Conceicao win would be a monstrous upset, with bookmakers offering odds as wide as 8/1 on him to leave the home crowd stunned, while Stevenson is an unbackable 1/20 favourite.
In a statement on Twitter, Stevenson said: "I gave it my all. I’ve been professional my whole career and made weight, but my body just can’t make 130 anymore. My health has to come first. I’m moving up to 135 in my next fight."
The youngster is 18-0 as a professional, and was crowned champion when he defeated the veteran Jamel Herring in Atlanta last October. He became unified back in April when he defeated Oscar Valdez, and was planning an easier homecoming fight before going after the other belts in the division.
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The 12 round fight will continue as planned, but there will be no champion for either governing body should Stevenson win as is expected. Undefeated Welshman Joe Cordina holds the IBF title at the weight, while Hector Garcia in the WBA champion. Stevenson's The Ring Magazine title appears to be unaffected.
Conceicao's sole loss as a professional came in his last world title challenge, when he was defeated by unanimous decision against Valdez in September of last year. He returned to winning ways by winning a ten-round decision against Xavier Martinez in January to earn another shot at world honours.