IT came as a shock when WBA super-flyweight world champion Luis Concepcion failed to make weight for his title defence against Kal Yafai on Saturday at the Manchester Arena. Concepcion had seemed in fine fettle this week, looking in good shape at the public workout on Tuesday, to such an extent that he clambered up the corner post and did a high, expertly executed backflip.
Yet on Friday he stripped naked and still weighed two and a half pounds over the limit, a surprising 8st 5lbs 7oz. He made a second attempt a couple of hours later, but still was 8st 5lbs 4oz. Yafai at 8st 2lbs 7oz made weight and was in outstanding condition. He can still win the WBA crown.
“Nothing changes for Kal. He’s got to beat Concepcion to become world champ,” said promoter Eddie Hearn, who now believes the task just got harder for Kal Yafai.