<
>

Raymundo Beltran 0.4 pounds heavy, ruled ineligible for belt against Ao

LAS VEGAS -- Lightweight contender Raymundo Beltran failed to make weight on Thursday for his world title bout with Takahiro Ao on Friday night and will not be eligible to win the vacant 135-pound belt.

If Ao wins, he will claim the title recently vacated by Terence Crawford, who moved up in weight and won a vacant junior welterweight title on April 18.

Ao and Beltran will meet on Friday night (10 ET) at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in the main event of the first card of promoter Top Rank's new series, "Metro PCS Friday Night Knockout," on cable network truTV.

Mexico's Beltran (29-7-1, 17 KOs), 33, who lives in Phoenix, initially weighed in at 136 pounds, 1 over the division limit. He left the scale in an attempt to make the weight, and when he returned he was still over at 135.4. Japan's Ao (27-3-1, 12 KOs), 31, a southpaw and former featherweight and junior lightweight world titleholder, weighed 134.8 pounds.

Had Beltran made weight he would have been fighting in his third world title bout in his past four fights. In September 2013, he traveled to Scotland to challenge then-titleholder Ricky Burns but was held to a draw in a fight that most thought Beltran had won handily. Two fights later, Beltran got a mandatory title shot against Crawford, who had dethroned Burns. Beltran traveled to Crawford's hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, and lost a one-sided decision in November.

Beltran is due to earn $85,000, according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and did not have to forfeit any of his purse for being overweight, according to Top Rank. Ao's purse is $50,000 in addition to money he will receive from Japanese television revenue.

In Friday's scheduled 10-round co-feature, welterweight Mikael Zewski (26-0, 20 KOs), 26, squares off with Konstantin Ponomarev (27-0, 13 KOs), 22, of Russia. They both made the 147-pound limit, as Zewski weighed 146.8 pounds and Ponomarev was 146.6 pounds.

Also on the card, featherweight prospect Jessie Magdaleno (20-0, 15 KOs), a 23-year-old southpaw from Las Vegas, will face Mexico's Raul Hirales (22-4-1, 11 KOs), 31, in a scheduled eight-round bout. Magdaleno was 123.8 pounds and Hirales was 126.