Former junior middleweight titlist Liam Smith failed to make weight on Friday for his vacant interim title bout against Liam Williams on Saturday at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
Smith weighed in at 155½ pounds, well over the 154-pound limit, while Williams was 152½ pounds. The fight will still go on, but should Smith win, the belt will remain vacant.
The fight is the co-feature on the card headlined by lightweight world titleholder Terry Flanagan (32-0, 13 KOs) defending his belt against Petr Petrov (38-4-2, 19 KOs).
The interim title was put on the line for Smith (24-1-1, 13 KOs) and Williams (16-0-1, 11 KOs), 24, of Wales, because world titleholder Canelo Alvarez, who won the title by knocking out Smith in the ninth round in September, is facing Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a nontitle fight at a catchweight of 164½ pounds on May 6 and not expected to return to the junior middleweight division, win or lose.
The 28-year-old Smith, of England, was apologetic for his failure to make the weight.
“Firstly, I would like to apologize to all my team and to team Williams, to [promoter] Frank [Warren] and the WBO. After a good training camp I misjudged the weight and couldn’t do any more [Friday] morning,” Smith said in a statement posted on social media. “It’s been a long time — seven months — since I last made the championship weight. No excuses though. I f—– up, BUT, I can clarify that today I was told TWICE that I had one hour to make the weight limit (which I decided it was long enough and would have been dangerous and detrimental to me if I did so) to then find out over 40 minutes later that I actually had two hours, which would have 100 percent changed my mind in trying to lose the weight.
“This is the first time I have missed weight in eight years and like I said, I apologize. The fight still goes ahead and believe me, my punishment in not being able to win the belt is hurting enough, trust me.”