NOTE: See the update at the bottom of this story
The manager of junior lightweight challenger Vicente Escobedo has threatened to pull out of Saturday night’s HBO-televised WBO title bout after beltholder Adrien Broner came in at 3.5 pounds above the 130-pound division limit at Friday afternoon’s weigh-in.
WBO President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel said that Broner (23-0, 19 knockouts) will be allowed to face Escobedo (26-3, 15 KOs), who came in at 130 pounds to Broner’s 133.5, but that he already has lost his crown at the scales.
“We might not take the fight. He’s the champion, and he’s got to make weight. That’s not our problem. We’re in his hometown and he’s got all of the unfair advantages,” said Escobedo’s manager, Rolando Arellano.
“Yet he has two hours and he’s refusing to make weight? He said up on the scales that he can’t make weight? Then he’s got a problem, because we made weight. We satisfied all of our obligations. So we’ll see what we can work out.”
Arellano said that he has preliminarly worked out a compromise with the state commission to hold a Saturday morning weigh-in, at which time neither Broner nor Escobedo can weigh more than 140 pounds.
“We’re trying to come up with a solution here so that he doesn’t gain an unfair advantage. Typically, the way that you resolve these issues is that you do a second-day weigh-in, and basically he has to come in within a certain amount of weight,” said Arellano.
“If he’s comes in too high, then we have to rightfully pull out of the fight because he would have an unfair advantage. This gives the guy an incentive to f–king behave today and to go work out. So I want to go 140 as a maximum. We have come to a general consensus for that as a team, and we’re just waiting for their response.”
Arellano said his threat to pull out of the bout “is a valid threat,” adding, “it’s Broner who did something wrong because he’s not making the terms.”
“We had a contractual agreement, and now, we’re giving him the chance to satisfy it,” said Arellano. “If he doesn’t satisfy it, it’s not our fault.”
If Escobedo takes the fight and is victorious, Valcarcel said that he will be the new titleholder. If Broner wins, Valcarcel said that he will be named the No. 1 contender to the title owned by WBO lightweight titleholder Ricky Burns (34-2, 9 KOs) of Scotland. Burns has a defense opposite Kevin Mitchell (33-1, 24 KOs), of England, on Sept. 22.
“Broner has lost the title on the scales. If Broner wins, the title will be vacant because he can not keep the belt since he was overweight,” said Valcarcel. “If Escobedo wins, then he becomes the champion. If Broner wins, then he will become No. 1 at 135 pounds and become the mandatory for Ricky Burns.”
UPDATE: Arrellano informed RingTV.com that Broner is being fined $60,000 of his purse, $30,000 of which will be added to the $150,000 purse of Escobedo, and the other half going to the Ohio commission.
“There will be a 50-50 split between what goes to the fighter and the commission, but that’s just the issue right now. Our team wants this kid to come down in weight. Our intent is for them to come down to 140, but I believe that they’re going to want 143 pounds — 10 pounds up from the weight at the scale,” said Arellano.
“We’re waiting to hear from the other side, but at this point in time, we’re waiting to hear. Then, at that point, Vicente and his team is going to decide if it’s acceptable or unacceptable. If they walk, they walk.”
Reached by RingTV.com, Broner said, “I’m not going to talk about it.”
“I’m going to mess this guy up. I’m not talking about now weight. I clearly grew out of the weight class, but I’m not out of shape,” said Broner. “I did nothing wrong. I’ll just leave it at that. Everything’s cool. I’m not talking about it. But I will be fighting tomorrow.”
Photo by Pat Lovell, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org