Filipino boxer Marlon Tapales lost his World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight belt even before he threw his first punch against Japanese challenger Shohei Omori.
Tapales, 25, was stripped by the WBO of his title after failing to reach the required 118 lbs weight limit during the official weigh-in on the eve of his fight against Omori at the Edion Arena in Osaka, Japan.
The Tubod Lanao del Norte native tipped the scale at 119.75 pounds – one and 3/4 pound over the required weight– in his first try and went heavier at 119.93 pounds in his second attempt after an hour and 45 minutes at the Monterey Hotel.
On the other hand, Omori (18-1 win-loss record with 13 knockouts) reached the required weight limit after weighing 117.5 pounds.
Tapales (29-2 record with 12 knockouts) and Omori will still square off on Sunday and if the Pinoy prevails, the title will be vacant, If Omori wins, he will keep the crown. Tapales knocked out Omori in their first meeting in Tokyo, Japan last December 16, 2015.
No one from the camp of Tapales was available for comment as of this writing.
Tapales won the title last July 30 after knocking out Thai Panya Uthok in his hometown.
The WBO bantamweight title eliminator between Arthur Villanueva and South African Zolani Tete, meanwhile, is going to push through in England on Sunday.
The winner of that fight will become a No. 1 contender for the WBO belt.
Both fighters met the required weight limit with Villanueva weighing in at 117.9 and Tete weighing in at 117.2 pounds during their official weigh-in.