MARK John Yap was supposed to make some buzz as he headlines a Top Rank fight card against three-time world title challenger Miguel Marriaga Friday (Manila time) at the MGM Grand Conference in Las Vegas.
The Filipino did, but for the wrong reason.
Yap came in overweight for the weigh-in, leading the Nevada State Athletic Commission to totally scrap the fight and pave the way for the Felix Verdejo versus Will Madera to be the main event of a card broadcast over ESPN.
The 31-year-old Yap from Cagayan de Oro City tipped in at 136.7 pounds. or about 8.7 lbs. over the contracted weight of 128.
Marriaga, a 33-year Colombian who once fought and lost to champions Nicholas Walters, Oscar Valdez, and Vasiliy Lomachenko in world title fights, came in at 127.3 lbs. He also carries a fearsome 29-3 record with 25 KOs).
In a Facebook post, Yap apologized to Filipino fight fans, friends, and family for failing to make weight.
“Things happen,” he said, adding his camp took the fight on less than two weeks’ notice.
“Nine days na pagbabawas ng timbang lang ang ginawa namin,” the underdog Yap added.
Worse, he claims the weighing scale his corner brought along was defective.
Yap and his team thought he was just two pounds over using that same weighing scale. But it was too late when they found out the device was substandard.
“Hindi namin alam na yung dala-dala naming timbangan ay kulang pala ng five pounds kaya na-over ako ng seven pounds,” said Yap. “Pinilit namin ng team ko na makuha yung 128 pounds, (but) too late kasi weigh-in time na,”
Ryan Songalia of Ring Magazine also tweeted that Yap ‘hadn’t trained really during the shutdown, had zero rounds of sparring, and accepted the fight’ in two weeks’ time.
Nonetheless, Yap said the incident could be a blessing in disguise for him.
“Siguro OK na din itong nangyari kasi super hirap na talaga ako,” he said. “Baka kasi ano pa ang mangyari sa akin sa taas ng ring.”
“Itong laban talaga hindi yun para sa atin. Lahat ng bagay sa Diyos ay may purpose kung bakit nangyari ito.”
Yap (30-15, with 15 KOs) thanked Filipino boxing fans in parting, for their continued support to his career.