South Africa-based Malawian boxer Isaac Chilemba has suffered a setback in his quest to clinch the World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver title after failing to make the weight category.
Chilemba weighed 77.5 kilogrammes (kg) against the required 76.2kg.
Despite the development, Chilemba will still fight Pavel Silyagin but cannot get the belt if he wins.
This means Chilemba has dropped from the light heavyweight category.
He confirmed failing to meet the weight category and blamed it on his flight from South Africa to Russia.
“I was managing my weight very well in South Africa but things changed during the long flight to Russia. If my opponent [Silyagin] wins, he will receive the belt but I won’t get it if I win,” Chilemba said.
Local boxing pundit Desire Kambewa said Chilemba might have been affected by other factors.
“Isaac is a professional. This is not the first time for him to reduce weight from light heavyweight to super middleweight. He might have been affected by changes that surrounded the fight. Otherwise, rules have been applied here,” he said.
The fight was rescheduled on four occasions due to various factors including Covid restrictions.
The 12-round title contest was recently updated on boxrec.com, an assurance that it would happen.
Chilemba, 33, has 26 wins including 10 knockouts, seven defeats and three draws while 28-year-old Silyagin has a perfect record, having won all eight fights with four knockouts.