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Featherweight Garcia fails to make weight

DALLAS (AP) - Mikey Garcia's reign as WBO featherweight champion was short-lived.

Garcia failed to make weight for his Saturday night fight against former title-holder Juan Manuel Lopez. The fight will go on, with Lopez regaining the title if he wins. The title will be vacant if Garcia wins.

The bout's promoter, Top Rank, tweeted the development Friday. A message left at Top Rank's office was not immediately returned.

Garcia weighed in at 128 pounds, 2 over the featherweight limit. Lopez weighed in at 125 1/2.

Garcia had won the title from Orlando Salido on a unanimous decision in New York in January. He is 31-0 with 26 knockouts.

The only two losses of Lopez's career came to Salido. The first one cost him the WBO belt, and the second led to a one-year suspension by Puerto Rican boxing officials when he accused the referee who stopped the fight of betting on the match.

Lopez, who is known as Juanma, has said several times the fight with Garcia is the biggest of the Puerto Rican's career.

``It is a very important fight and one that I had to take at this point in my career,'' Lopez, who is 33-2 with 30 knockouts, said through an interpreter in a conference call. ``I know this fight can get me back to where I want to be.''

Lopez showed a little gamesmanship by essentially trying to take credit for Garcia's win over Salido. Lopez said Salido was ``beat up by me,'' and that the Mexican fighter ``wasn't as fresh when he fought Mikey as when he was fighting me.''

Not surprisingly, the California-born Garcia had a different view of his win in a fight that was stopped after the eighth round when an accidental head butt by Salido broke Garcia's nose. Garcia was dominating the fight.

``I thought I fought a really good Orlando Salido,'' Garcia said. ``I never let him get into his fight. I knew what I needed to do against him and I think that was the difference. I was able to control the fight.''

Lopez has won twice since his one-year ban ended, beating Aldimar Silva Santos in February and knocking out Eugenio Lopez in an undercard bout in Mexico City in April.

``I think those two fights I had were very important because after the long layoff I was able to get in the gym, get on my diet, get a rhythm of training and fighting,'' Lopez said.

The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

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