Robson Conceicao could’ve walked away.
According to the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board guidelines, Conceicao could’ve skipped out on Friday night’s main event and still would’ve been entitled to his full purse of $250,000 because he fulfilled his contractual obligation by making weight at the 130-pound limit.
Instead, Conceicao’s team negotiated a financial penalty from Stevenson’s $3 million purse. The Brazilian boxer will now receive over $300,000 while Stevenson pays a $20,000 fine to the NJSACB for coming in overweight, according to Boxing Scene.
At Thursday afternoon’s press conference, Conceicao stepped to the scales first and was 129.6 pounds on the first attempt.
Stevenson went next and was watching the scale as he was being weighed. The commission announced the weight – which couldn’t be heard – as Stevenson walked away; he declined his right to return to the scales, but continued to face-off with Conceicao.
It was during this that it was announced that Stevenson came in at 131.6 pounds, which is nearly two pounds over the contractual weight limit. He was given two additional hours to shed the pounds, but later revealed on Twitter that he wouldn’t be able to do it.
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“I gave it my all,” Stevenson stated.
“I’ve been a professional my whole career and made weight, but my body just can’t make 130 anymore. My health has to come first. I’m moving up to 135 in my next fight.”
As a result, the 25-year-old was forced to relinquish his WBC and WBO super featherweight titles. Conceicao can still win the belts; if Stevenson wins, it will still be vacant.
Had Conceicao chosen to not fight, Top Rank would’ve been forced to scramble for an 11th-hour replacement for an expected 8,000 crowd at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, Stevenson’s hometown.
Stevenson is still listed as a 20-1 favorite by Caesars Sportsbook to beat Conceicao. On Wednesday, Conceicao told FIGHT SPORTS that he doesn’t believe in favorites, and it’s about who is the better man that night.