WBA super middleweight super champion Andre Ward scaled in at 167.8 pounds ahead of his eagerly anticipated return to the ring against unheralded challenger Edwin Rodriguez, who failed to make weight. Rodriguez 24-0, with 16KO’s initially weighed in at 170lbs.
Ward who is 26-0 with 14KO’s will now gain 10% of Rodriguez’s $1milion purse with a further 10% going to the California commission.
Rodriguez must also weigh in under 180lbs at 9am on Saturday 16 November, the morning of the fight.
Rodriguez’s promoter Lou Di Bella found it hard to hide his embarrassment at the situation stating "I don’t have a lot of excuses,” then continued “It’s not professional. I’m embarrassed for them.”
Andre Ward remained calm throughout the weigh in claiming “I think it puts him at a disadvantage, but it doesn’t affect my frame of mind and my preparation.”
Whereas Ward’s trainer Virgil Hunter was more damning in his appraisal of events “That’s what happens when you give a guy more money than he deserves,” before adding “It’s unprofessional"
Ward’s promoter Dan Goosen also commented “If he didn’t have Ronnie in his corner, and Ronnie’s an experienced trainer, a good trainer, than maybe you’d wonder, but with Ronnie being there, that’s a good indication that he was aware of it and did everything he could,” adding with a hint of compassion “Sometimes you can’t shed that last pound or two.”
The fight which marks the return of Ward following a 14 month layoff will be broadcast in the USA on HBO live from the Citizen’s Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California.