Andre Ward had no trouble making weight for his super middleweight title defense against Edwin Rodriguez, despite being inactive for the last 14 months, tipping the scales at 167.8 pounds. Rodriguez, however, weighed 170 pounds, two pounds over the division limit.
Rodriguez (24-0, 16 knockouts), who fought twice this year — a unanimous decision over Ezequiel Maderna and 171.5 catchweight bout with Denis Grachev, who he stopped in one round — will have two hours to lose the two pounds.
If the New Englander fails to make the division limit of 168 pounds, he will not be eligible to win the WBA super middleweight title which is on the line. He will also be fined 20 percent of his $1 million purse by the California State Athletic Commission (with half of that fine going to Ward and the other half going to the commission).
Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) looked fit and focused as usual. The Oakland native, who had shoulder surgery earlier this year and hasn’t fought since stopping Chad Dawson last September, didn’t have much to say after weighing in.
“I thank God for bringing me back,” he said. “It’s been a long road. I’m not using to talking this much (as the two have done in the build up to the fight). They’ve being doing a lot of talking, but I’m ready to showcase.”
Ward and Rodriguez fight on Saturday at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif. The fight will be televised on HBO.
RingTV.com will have a follow-up report following Rodriguez’s second attempt to make weight.