Former world champion Carl Frampton has apologized to fans after weighing in one pound over the 126 pound featherweight limit for his homecoming clash with Andres Gutierrez.
‘The Jackal’ was due to fight the Mexican in a World Boxing Council eliminator for the chance to challenge Gary Russell Jr. but the SSE Arena contest will now only have that status for Gutierrez.
Guadalajara-based Gutierrez had no such problems hitting the mark and would overhaul Frampton as the number one contender if victorious.
Frampton stated: “After a long training camp of intense preparation and trying to make weight, I was disappointed that I came in 1lb over the featherweight limit today. I tried everything I could to cut down, but unfortunately, my body just wouldn’t allow it in the end.
“I’d like to apologise to the fans that have got involved and shown incredible support throughout this frantic fight week, and to those that will be cheering me on to victory on Saturday night.
“Furthermore, I would like to apologise to my opponent Andres Gutierrez – who will still have the opportunity to win the WBC eliminator on Saturday.
“I’m gutted, but at the same time, I acknowledge that I am responsible.
“I’m still very much looking forward to returning home tomorrow night in front of the best fans in the world.
“I am sure that I will put on an explosive performance and claim victory. Thanks again to the Jackal Army – the turnout today was unbelievable!”
Frampton is on the comeback trail following a first career defeat against Leo Santa Cruz earlier this year but may have to come through another eliminator should he be successful in Belfast.
The 30 year-old is ranked by other organisations though so may not have to look far for a big opportunity to present itself in the future.
Returning to terrestrial TV, Frampton also fights on home soil for the first time since 2015 when the two-weight world champion stopped Chris Avalos in five rounds.
Gutierrez is one fight into his own rebuilding job on the back of a reverse against ex-world title holder Cristian Mijares in June 2016 but hasn’t fought competitively since December.
Catch all the action from Belfast this Saturday night on Showtime in the United States and Channel 5 in the United Kingdom.