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Welterweight Roberto Garcia off fight card amid weight issues

The Premier Boxing Champions card scheduled for Saturday night on NBC took a big hit on Thursday when Roberto Garcia, due to face top welterweight prospect Errol Spence Jr. in the scheduled 10-round co-feature, dropped off the card because he was not close to making weight.

It's the second time in three fights that Garcia has withdrawn from a fight on short notice for the same reason, leaving card co-promoters Tom Brown of TGB Promotions and Leonard Ellerbe of Mayweather Promotions in the tough spot of looking for a new opponent to face Spence 48 hours before the weigh-in on Friday afternoon at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Neither Brown nor Ellerbe returned messages seeking comment but Bob Bennett, the executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, told ESPN.com that Brown called him on Wednesday to inform him that Garcia was off the card and presented him with names of potential replacement opponents.

One of them is Toronto's Phil Lo Greco (26-1, 14 KOs), but Bennett expressed concern about approving him. Although Lo Greco has been training in Mount Charleston, outside of Las Vegas, with Jessie Vargas, who is preparing for his welterweight showdown with Timothy Bradley Jr. on June 27, Lo Greco has only fought once in 22 months, winning an eight-round decision against a journeyman opponent in March.

In his fight before that, in May 2013, Lo Greco got knocked down and lost a shutout decision to Shawn Porter (25-1-1, 16 KOs), who went on to win and lose a world title.

Porter will fight former three-division titleholder Adrien Broner (30-1, 22 KOs) in a 144-pound catchweight fight in the main event on Saturday night (8:30 ET).

Spence (16-0, 13 KOs), a 25-year-old southpaw from Dallas, was a 2012 U.S. Olympian and universally regarded as one of boxing's top prospects.

He would have been stepping up his level of competition against Garcia (37-3, 23 KOs), 35, of Weslaco, Texas, although Spence was still the heavy favorite because he would own significant advantages in speed and skills.

Garcia has won nine fights in a row since a decision loss to former titleholder Antonio Margarito in 2010 but he was scheduled to fight Porter on March 13 on a PBC on Spike TV card in Ontario, California, until failing to show up for the weigh-in the day before the bout.

The California State Athletic Commission said the reason was because he was at least four pounds overweight, although the Garcia camp claimed he was ill.

Porter knocked out replacement opponent Erick Bone, who flew cross country for the bout on a day's notice, in the fifth round.

Garcia, weighing 150 pounds, was rescheduled and fought on April 14, getting knocked down but winning an eight-round unanimous decision against James Stevenson in Chicago.

Bennett said he would speak with Brown again on Thursday morning to make a final decision on a replacement opponent to face Spence.