Carl Frampton’s fight with Mexican Andres Gutierrez on Saturday night in Belfast is no longer a WBC title eliminator after the ‘Jackal’ failed to make weight.
Frampton (30), weighed in one pound over the featherweight limit for his homecoming bout at the SSE Arena in a dramatic development on Friday.
Confirmation followed that the fight will still go ahead after Frampton topped the scales at 127lb with Gutierrez weighing 125.6lbs.
Should Gutierrez win, he will still meet WBC champion Gary Russell Junior as a mandatory challenger for the belt, although that will now not be an option for an apologetic Frampton.
The former two-weight world champion said: “After a long training camp of intense preparation and trying to make weight, I was disappointed that I came in 1lb over the featherweight limit.
“I tried everything I could to cut down, but unfortunately, my body just wouldn’t allow it in the end.
“I’d like to apologise to the fans that have got involved and shown incredible support throughout this frantic fight week, and to those that will be cheering me on to victory on Saturday night.
“Furthermore I would like to apologise to my opponent Andres Gutierrez - who will still have the opportunity to win the WBC eliminator on Saturday.”
Frampton remains a hot favourite to beat Gutierrez as he returns to fight in Belfast for the first time since he defeated Chris Avalos in 2015.
It is his first fight since he suffered his maiden loss against Leo Santa Cruz in Las Vegas in January, who avenged his defeat at the hands of Frampton in New York in 2016.
Frampton looks set to chase a third fight with Santa Cruz or a clash with Welshman and IBF featherweight world champion Lee Selby, although first he must overcome 24-year-old Gutierrez.