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Theater of the EXPECTED! Scale Fail By Yap Makes Verdejo Fight the Feature

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Mark John Yap got candid with Ryan Songalia and told the RING writer that he hasn’t been able to train properly in Las Vegas while coronavirus made the rounds, so he knew he would be a deep underdog versus Miguel Marriaga July 16 at ‘The Bubble” and on ESPN.

The Filipino (pictured above) with a 30-15 record told the reporter he was maybe ten pounds over the featherweight limit about one week ago, and that he was two pounds over hours before the Wednesday weigh in. Maybe Yap celebrated getting so close with a buffet lunch? Because the fighter stepped on the scale and Top Rank experienced yet another snafu which by now has to seem almost comical for the company’s staff.

Yap registered 136.7, way too far beyond the 128 pound max, so his bout against Marriaga got scratched, and the Felix Verdejo-Will Madera lightweight match got lifted up to featured status.

“All I can say is I’ll try my best,” Yap told Songalia, before the scale fail. “If I can’t, I’ll surrender because the fight is late notice. I just want to avoid accidents and just want to be safe in the ring.”

Consider accident avoided….

On June 7, this post went up on the Yap Instagram account. He looked lean and in rumble mode. But on July 15, his weight made him ineligible to do battle.

Verdejo (age 27; 26-1 record) said he was happy that he passed the scale test. “Having passed the initial test of the scale, it is time to demonstrate tomorrow in the ring the result  of all my dedication, effort, and perseverance,” said the — fighter from Puerto Rico. “It will be different to fight in ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas without my fans, but I have no doubt that I will carry in my heart, my family, my people of Puerto Rico, and all who have supported me throughout my career.”

This main event, Verdejo (left) versus Madera, is probably more interesting, on paper, than Marriaga-Yap. Verdejo is still trying to get close to meeting expectations had for him in 2014-2015. (Photo by Mikey Williams)

Madera, fighting out of Albany, NY, holds a 15-0-3 record.

Him and Verdejo still have to pass a COVID-19 test before their fight gets to the finish line, to get started.

The word “snafu,” which stands for Situation Normal All Fucked Up applies, doesn’t it? Top Rank has battled through all these main events go off the rails. Jamel Herring vs. Jonathan Oquendo on July 2 because of Herring’s COVID positive;  the July 7 Ivan Baranchyk vs. Jose Zepeda faceoff because of a Baranchyk rib injury; the July 9 Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller vs. Jerry Forrest tango got switched to Carlos Takam vs. Forrest after BBM failed a PED screen; the July 14 Herring vs. Oquendo reset gave way to a Mikaela Mayer vs Helen Joseph feature, because Herring AGAIN had COVID in his system, according to a July 12 test. The July 16 main event was slated to be Eleider Alvarez vs Joe Smith Jr. in a light heavy meeting, but Alvarez got hurt, so Marriaga vs Yap took its place. Alvarez will fight Smith the third week of August. Hopefully.

About Michael Woods

Michael Woods

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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