CARSON, Calif. -- Marco Antonio Rubio failed to make weight Friday for his middleweight title fight against Gennady Golovkin on Saturday night at the sold-out StubHub Center, which cost him his interim belt and a chance to win Golovkin's world title.
Rubio weighed 161.8 pounds, well over the 160-pound middleweight limit. He had two hours to try to lose the extra weight but could not, and did not even step on the scale a second time.
Golovkin weighed 159 pounds. If he beats Rubio in the fight that headlines a "World Championship Boxing" doubleheader on HBO (10 ET/PT), he will win the now-vacant interim belt. If Golovkin loses, however, his world title will be vacated and the interim belt will remain vacant, according to K2 Promotions managing director Tom Loeffler, Golovkin's promoter.
"Any time you have a fighter who doesn't make weight it's disappointing," Loeffler said. "That's one of the things Gennady prides himself on, his commitment to training, to being in shape and fulfilling his championship obligations."
Rubio (59-6-1, 51 KOs), 34, of Mexico, came to the outdoor weigh-in at the stadium knowing he was unlikely to make weight, at which point his handlers and K2 Promotions submitted an amended contract to the California State Athletic Commission raising the weight limit from 160 to 162 pounds. The new agreement also lowered Rubio's purse from $450,000 to $350,000. Golovkin will earn a base purse of $900,000, according to the commission.
Robert Garcia, Rubio's trainer, said his fighter trained hard and is in good shape but simply reached a point where he could not shed the additional weight.
"It's the biggest fight of his career against the most dangerous fighter, so it's a big disappointment," Garcia said. "We were trying. He did everything he could to make weight. But he got a point where his body just shut down. No more weight was going to come off. He just couldn't do it."
Golovkin (30-0, 27 KOs), 32, of Kazakhstan, will be seeking his 17th consecutive knockout and will be making the 12th defense of his world title. A victory would tie him with Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Felix Sturm for third all time on the middleweight title defense list. Carlos Monzon made 14 defenses, and Bernard Hopkins made 20.
Featherweight titleholder Nonito Donaire (33-2, 21 KOs) and secondary titlist Nicholas Walters (24-0, 20 KOs) meet in the co-feature. Both weighed 125.6, a touch under the 126-pound limit.