Joshua Franco misses weight, stripped of WBA title before fight

Joshua Franco was stripped of his WBA junior bantamweight belt Friday after he weighed 121.25 pounds for his 115-pound title rematch against Kazuto Ioka in Tokyo on Saturday.

Ioka (29-2-1, 15 KOs) can still capture the title with a victory. In the event of a draw or a Franco victory, the title will remain vacant.

"There was some issues the past few days that even up to a few hours ago made us believe the fight was off," Franco's trainer, Robert Garcia, tweeted Friday. "Josh has always been a professional and has never had a problem like this before."

Franco (18-1-3, 8 KOs) and Ioka fought to a draw in December in Tokyo in a title unification bout. Ioka, a 34-year-old who fights out of Tokyo, vacated his WBO title afterward to pursue the rematch rather than a mandatory defense against Junto Nakatani.

Franco, a 27-year-old from San Antonio, is the older brother of flyweight champion Jesse "Bam" Rodriguez. Franco is rated No. 4 by ESPN at 115 pounds; Ioka is No. 3.