Aussie world title challenger Liam Wilson has sensationally accused the camp of his Mexican opponent Emanuel Navarrete of “tampering” with the scales following the official weigh-in.
Wilson will fight Navarrete for the vacant WBO super-featherweight title in Glendale, Arizona on Friday (Saturday in Australia).
The Queenslander, who is considered big for the division, came in well under the 130-lb (59kg) limit, tipping the scales at 126.3 lbs.
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Navarrete has been a champion at super-bantamweight and featherweight and is making his debut in the division but, following the weigh-in, Wilson believes he may have struggled to make the limit.
“Something happened with the scales,” Wilson told Fox Sports‘ Ben Damon.
“I’m sure they’ve been tampered with.
“I weighed in on the scales 20 minutes prior and I was only just under weight and I went on the official weigh-in and I was four pounds under, magically.
“So in 20 minutes, I lost four pounds.
“I think he’s come in overweight and they’ve tampered with the scales to make it look like he has made it.
“I haven’t been that small in the last 10 years.”
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Pushed on whether he understood the gravity of the accusation he was making, Wilson held firm.
“100 per cent,” he said. “There’s no way I could lose four pounds in 20 minutes.
“It’s unprofessional. It’s a shame to see him come here and disrespect the sport.”
Wilson confirmed he would go ahead with the fight, having experienced a similar situation in March last year when he agreed to fight Joe Noynay despite the Filipino fighter coming in nearly nine pounds over the limit for their rematch.
On that occasion, Wilson exacted revenge for his only career loss, knocking Noynay out in round two.
It’s a maiden shot at a world title for the 26-year-old who will be giving away plenty of experience at the top level when he and Navarrete step in the ring at the Diamond Desert Arena.
Wilson is 11-1 as a professional, while his 28-year-old opponent has had 37 pro fights, inluding 10 victories in world championship fights, and only one loss, coming over 10 years ago.
“Vaquero” is a big favourite with the bookmakers but Wilson is taking a lot of confidence from the weigh-in:
“For me it just shows he’s prepared unprofessionally or come in underdone and I’m going to take advantage of that and apply the pressure and break him down.”
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