By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao had hoped to showcase one of his fellow Filipinos during Showtime’s pay-per-view telecast Saturday night.
Jhack Tepora destroyed that plan by coming in grossly overweight Friday afternoon. BoxingScene.com has learned that Tepora’s trouble at the scale forced organizers of the Pacquiao-Adrien Broner card to remove him from his scheduled fight against Hugo Ruiz.
Tepora, who’s co-promoted by Pacquiao’s company, stepped on the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s scale at 131½ pounds for what was supposed to be a 12-round, 126-pound championship match versus Ruiz.
Tepora’s team was well aware he was way overweight, thus the promoters of Saturday’s card made sure to have a replacement on standby in case Tepora couldn’t make weight. Ruiz now will meet Mexico’s Alberto Guevara (27-3, 12 KOs) in a 10-round, non-title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The WBA also stripped Tepora of its interim WBA featherweight title.
Ruiz, 30, met his contractual obligation by weighing in at 125 pounds, one below the featherweight limit. The 28-year-old Guevara weighed in at the contracted 126-pound maximum later Friday afternoon.
The Ruiz-Guevara fight will open the Showtime Pay-Per-View broadcast Saturday at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT ($74.99 in HD).
Guevara has won three straight fights since losing a unanimous decision to IBF bantamweight champ Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KOs) in a 10-round, non-title bout in June 2016, before Rodriguez became a 118-pound champion. Guevara also has lost by knockout to former WBC bantamweight champ Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-2-2, 19 KOs) in November 2013 and by 10-round unanimous decision to Leo Santa Cruz (35-1-1, 19 KOs) in an IBF bantamweight championship match in December 2012.
Guevara hasn’t fought since stopping Mexico’s Ramiro Robles (15-8-2, 9 KOs) in the fifth round of their April 21 bout in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Ruiz has lost by technical knockout in two of his past five fights. He most recently knocked out Mexico’s Jesus Galicia (17-12-1, 8 KOs) in the second round of their fight November 17 in Puebla, Mexico.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.