LOS ANGELES – Mexico’s Erik Morales lost his World Boxing Council light-welterweight title on Friday by exceeding the division weight limit of 140 pounds for his fight on Saturday, March 24 against Danny Garcia.
Morales, 52-7 with 36 knockouts, tipped the scales at 142 pounds, meaning he cannot retain his title even with a victory over unbeaten US fighter Garcia, 22-0 with 14 knockouts, in their showdown at Houston, Texas.
Garcia, who weighed in at 139.5 pounds, must still defeat Morales in order to claim the crown. Any other result will leave the title vacated.
The fight had been delayed from January so Morales could undergo gallbladder surgery.
Morales won the vacant WBC crown last September with a 10th-round stoppage of previously unbeaten compatriot Pablo Cesar Cano.
Morales, 35, is 4-1 since ending a three-year layoff in 2010. He is the first Mexican fighter to win world titles in four weight divisions — superbantamweight, featherweight, super featherweight and light welterweight.
Morales was also the last fighter that defeated Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao 7 years ago in 2005. Pacquiao knocked out Morales in a rematch less than a year later in January 2006. Morales dropped to Pacquiao a 2nd time in their 3rd rematch in November of the same year, via a 3rd round knockout.
Garcia, 24, has never fought for a world title.