By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com has been advised that the World Boxing Association has stepped in and made a commitment to WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward. Earlier today, BoxingScene first reported that a financial dispute broke out - related to the penalty percentage which Rodriguez received for not making weight on Friday.
Rodriguez (24-0, 16KOs) was set to challenge Ward (26-0, 14KOs) for the WBA super middleweight championship. However, he was unable to make the super middleweight limit of 168-pounds at Friday's weigh-in. Rodriguez came in at two-pounds over, at 170-pounds, while Ward easily made weight at 167.8-pounds.
It was said yesterday that Rodriguez would have to fork over 20% of his purse [a cut of $200,000 dollars] and he would have to take part in a secondary weigh-in on Saturday morning - where he would be allowed to weigh a max of 180-pounds [which he made at 179.8].
10% of that penalty would go to Ward, with the other 10% going to the California State Athletic Commission.
But, pursuant to the WBA's own rules when it comes to a title fight - a fighter has to get cracked with a 35% penalty when he fails to make the contract weight. Additionally, an extra 10% is added when a fighter refuses to shed the additional weight.
According to the WBA's rule E 9e - " a boxer who does not make weight after the two hour extension shall forfeit 35% of his purse ." The rule later states " a boxer who refuses to attempt to make weight during the two hour extension shall forfeit 45% of his purse ."
Josh Dubin, the attorney for Ward, told BoxingScene that he believes Rodriguez is subject to the 45% penalty, because he never returned to the official scale to weigh-in for a second time.
Dubin told BoxingScene earlier:
"This fight was for the WBA world title. The only reason it is no longer for the WBA world title is because Rodriguez failed to make the weight. The rules still apply, because the rules make provisions for this very situation, and they are extraordinarily clear on what's to occur. And we expect the rules to be applied. What's wrong with boxing right now is that too often the rules are not applied. The rules are the rules. Andre Ward and Edwin Rodriguez both agreed to pay sanctioning fees. It was in their bout agreement that this fight would be for the WBA world title and the WBA rules apply," Dubin told BoxingScene.com.
"The rules are very clear that there is a penalty [that directs the offender] to pay a bare minimum of 35%. We have reason to believe that he never even tried to make the weight during the two hour period because he never got back on the scale. He should be fined 45%, that's what the rules say because he never made an effort to make the weight during that two hour period. There is a rule where the athletic commission withholds 20%. We need some relief in-between 20% and the 45% that [Ward is] owed."
From what BoxingScene was told, the WBA has assured Ward that their organization will help him recover the penalty from Rodriguez after the fight. The exact details of what the WBA plans to do, in terms of recovering the monies owed, was not disclosed at the present.
The HBO televised fight takes place later tonight at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario.