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Castillo fails to make weight, fight with Bradley Jr. canceled

CANCUN, Mexico -- Once again, Jose Luis Castillo failed to make weight.

And once again, it forced the cancellation of a significant fight.

This time the former two-time lightweight champion's well-documented battles with the scale resulted in his junior welterweight elimination fight against Timothy Bradley Jr. being canceled Friday, one day before they were to meet for the right to challenge titlist Junior Witter of England.

The fight was one of the undercard bouts scheduled for the bill headlined by Oleg Maskaev's heavyweight title defense against Samuel Peter.

Castillo (56-8-1, 48 KOs) was nowhere near the 140-pound limit for the fight. He skipped his WBC-mandated 30-day weigh-in last month, but when he weighed himself Thursday night he scaled 147½ pounds. And when he showed up two hours before the official weigh-in in an outdoor amphitheater overlooking a beach on Nichupte Lagoon he was 144½ pounds with no chance to make 140.

"I'm very disappointed, very sad," Bradley said. "I didn't get a chance to display my talent. I sacrificed a hell of a lot for this fight. I've been training since January."

Castillo quickly left town and headed home to Mexicali after yet another embarrassment.

Castillo, of course, has a well-earned reputation of being unable to make weight. He failed to make 135 pounds for his high-profile lightweight championship rematch with the late Diego "Chico" Corrales in Las Vegas back in October 2005, which ignited a major controversy. The fight went on as a nontitle fight and Castillo knocked him out in the fourth round.

They were set to meet in a rubber match in June 2006, also in Las Vegas, but again Castillo stunned the boxing world when he weighed 139½ pounds, 4½ more than the contract weight. This time, Corrales refused to put himself at a disadvantage and the fight was canceled.

Castillo was suspended for six months and fined $250,000 and Corrales promoter Gary Shaw sued Castillo promoter Bob Arum, who was not involved in Friday's debacle.

Coincidentally, Shaw also co-promotes Bradley.

Bradley (21-0, 11 KOs), of Palm Springs, Calif., looked fit and strong when he weighed 139 on Friday, but it was a formality since the fight had already been canceled. But by making weight, the WBC is poised to make him Witter's mandatory challenger without him having to fight an eliminator.

Bradley and Alex Camponova of Thompson Boxing, Bradley's co-promoter, said that WBC president Jose Sulaiman assured them that Bradley would be conferred as the mandatory.

"The WBC didn't penalize me and I am thankful," Bradley said. "I got what I needed, which is the mandatory, so it's all good."

Bradley said he had heard the rumors and speculation for the past month or so that Castillo wouldn't make weight, but he said he didn't let it bother him.

"I just didn't listen to it," he said. "I just said I'm going to make my weight and if he doesn't, he doesn't."

But Bradley does think Castillo should be punished.

"Hopefully, they'll penalize him," Bradley said. "They should suspend him and at least take him out of the rankings."

That Castillo was even in a position to fight for a mandatory title shot was suspect because he has no resume in the division. In June 2007, he was knocked out in the fourth round by Ricky Hatton and wasn't competitive in the fight. Castillo rebounded to win a fight in October against a low-level opponent before being given the opportunity to fight in an elimination bout.

Dan Rafael is boxing writer for ESPN.com.