Rocky Fielding will be fighting the British Light Heavyweight Champion, Dan Azeez, with no shot at winning the belt.
Fielding (30-2, 18 KOs) weighed 1lb over the 175lb limit and failed to return to the scales to make a second available attempt.
Azeez, who came in two pounds under the light heavyweight limit, retains his British title before the first bell rings. In addition, only he can win the vacant Commonwealth title – a victory for Fielding now becomes exclusively bragging rights.
It puts a sour note on what many are anticipating to be the fight of the night at this weekend’s BOXXER card in Bournemouth, headlined by Chris Billam-Smith and Armend Xhoxhaj.
Azeez won the British belt against Hosea Burton back in 2021 – this was to be his second defence of the strap. The 17-0 fighter from Lewisham is highly rated to make his mark on the sport at a higher level, and faces a good test in Fielding who has been in with the likes of Callum Smith, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, and John Ryder.
On the weight drama, he told Sky Sports that 1lb doesn’t matter.
“It’s only a pound. Whether he comes over the weight, under the weight we’ve still got Saturday to deal with and that’s what I’m focused on. I don’t read too much into the weight. My aim is just to make sure I retain this title and win the Commonwealth. I’m happy I’ve got the opportunity to end the year on a high.”
Fielding has been relatively inactive since his loss to Canelo, fighting just three times in four years. Most of his campaign has been fought at super middleweight, which makes missing the higher limit of light heavy stranger still.
The main event sees Billam-Smith face a potential banana skin in Xhoxhaj, with a victory setting up an exciting 2023 in the sport for the 16-1 local fighter.
The card also features Caroline Dubois and a heavyweight clash between Newcastle’s Steve Robinson and Glasgow’s Nick Campbell. Viddal Riley pulled out at the last minute due to illness.
All of the action live from Bournemouth can be watched via Sky Sports Main Event.