LAS VEGAS -- Although stripped of the possibility of retaining his junior bantamweight title, Juan Carlos Sanchez easily beat Roberto Sosa by unanimous decision on Saturday.
Sanchez (16-1-1, 8 KOs), of Mexico, imposed his superior style, speed and distance before capping the performance with a 12th-round knockdown of Argentina's Sosa (24-1, 14 KOs). Sosa survived the round, but Sanchez earned the nod from the judges, 117-110, 117-110 and 116-111.
Sanchez weighed in at 115.2 pounds -- just more than the 115-pound division limit -- on Friday, which was initially deemed acceptable by IBF supervisor Aaron Kizer for a defense of the belt. But Sanchez was informed Saturday that the organizing body had instead stripped him of its title.
When Sanchez stepped on the digital scale on Friday afternoon he was 116 pounds and had two hours under IBF rules to lose the weight. When he returned a half-hour later Samuels said that Sanchez was 115.5 pounds.
Samuels said that when Sanchez returned for a second time with about 10 minutes to spare in the two-hour window, IBF supervisor Aaron Kizer announced he was 115 pounds and had made weight.
At that point, Samuels said that the Nevada State Athletic Commission was no longer supervising the weigh-in because under its rules, fighters have only one hour to make weight. As far as the commission was concerned, the weigh-in was finished with Sanchez's official weight being 115.5 pounds.
Under IBF rules for world title fights, boxers are required to reweigh on the morning of the bout to make sure they do not put on more than 10 pounds following the official weigh-in. Both fighters reported for the morning weight check but before they got on the scale, Samuels said that Kizer made the announcement that Sanchez's final Friday weight was actually 115.2 pounds.
"He said he thought he could round it down to 115, but the IBF headquarters told him later he couldn't and that he had made a mistake," Samuels said. "Obviously, Sanchez and his team were not happy because they had been told him his weight was OK on Friday."
Sanchez outpointed Rodrigo Guerrero in February 2012 to win the belt and then made two defenses, taking a lopsided decision against former junior bantamweight titlist Juan Alberto Rosas and knocking out former junior flyweight titleholder Rodel Mayol in the ninth round.
ESPN.com's Dan Rafael contributed to this report.