Tomorrow night's HBO World Championship Boxing main event will go on as scheduled, but the world championship won't be up for grabs. Edwin Rodriguez will still face Andre Ward live from the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California, but after failing to make weight, he'll have to pay a $200,000 fine (20% of his purse) and the fight will not be for Ward's WBA super middleweight title.
Lou DiBella, Rodriguez's promoter, made no excuses. From BoxingScene.com:
"I want to apologize to Andre Ward, Virgil Hunter, HBO and everybody involved because there is no excuse. It is unprofessional. Even if you are unable to do it anymore, you have to say that you are unable to do it anymore and come clean with that fact. To have a world title fight and be in this situation is unacceptable. I love Edwin and I respect him as a person but what happened here wasn't right."
Rick Reeno also reports that HBO is considering adding a clause to fights they purchase in the future, as fighters missing weight has become a constant concern. The clause could "penalize the fighter and/or adjust the amount of money" that HBO ultimately pays for a fight. DiBella, a former HBO executive, said he "understands completely" if that is instituted. Frankly, it should be. With the way they game is right now in American boxing, HBO and Showtime have specific fighters they can and can't use, basically, and if that's going to be the way it is (and it is), then you can't blame either network for looking to make sure they get the most out of the fights they buy.
Photo courtesy Chris Robinson/HustleBoss.com, used with permission.