Former middleweight titleholder "Kid Chocolate" Peter Quillin will not have the opportunity to regain the belt he vacated in September because he did not make the 160-pound weight limit on Friday afternoon for his bout against titleholder Andy Lee.
Lee and Quillin will still meet in a 12-round fight Saturday night (NBC, 8:30 ET) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, but Quillin cannot win the title and Lee cannot lose it.
Ireland's Lee, who won the title Quillin vacated in December, weighed 159.6 pounds while Quillin, of Brooklyn, initially weighed 161.4 pounds. Per New York State Athletic Commission rules, Quillin had two hours to lose the excess weight but could get down only to 160.6 when he returned to the scale about 90 minutes later.
Lee, 30, will hold the title regardless of the outcome of the bout because of WBO rule 4 (c) (2), which says, "If the champion makes the weight and the challenger fails to do so, the champion, whether or not he loses the fight, shall retain the title."
Quillin (31-0, 22 KOs), who has not fought for a year, made an effort to lose the extra weight but could not and was apologetic.
"What can I say? I didn't make weight," said Quillin, 31. "I want to apologize to Andy Lee and to all my supporters and fans. I made every effort to make weight but it just wasn't meant to be, and I have no one else to blame but myself.
"I may not win a title (Saturday) but I still have a fight to win, and I plan to put on a good performance. I promise to use this as a learning experience for the future. God bless."
Lou DiBella, Lee's promoter and promoter of the card, said Quillin looked dehydrated when he returned to the scale.
"I think that Andy and his whole team were gratified that Peter tried to lose the weight. He didn't just blow it off and start drinking water," DiBella said. "He pretty much came back spent. He couldn't make weight and he didn't look good. What are you gonna say? He pays a price: Andy retains the title and Peter can't win it. Andy did what he was supposed to do."
Although there are no weight fines by the New York commission, the camps struck a deal under which Quillin must pay Lee $125,000 of Quillin's $500,000 purse to go through with the bout.
Lee's $500,000 purse got a bump to $625,000, but he will make even more thanks to what he will earn from European television rights.
DiBella declined to discuss the specifics of the deal between the camps but said Lee (34-2, 24 KOs) was "happy with the way things worked out."
Unified junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia (29-0, 17 KOs), 27, of Philadelphia, and titleholder Lamont Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs), 31, of Washington, D.C., who will meet in the 12-round main event -- but in a nontitle bout -- both made their contract weight of 143 pounds. Garcia weighed 142.2 pounds and Peterson was right on 143.