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Katie Taylor still has title shot despite opponent failing to make weight

Dramatic afternoon in Cardiff sees Anahi Esther Sanchez fail to make weight after two attempts

Anahi Esther Sanchez of Argentina weighs in ahead of her WBA lightweight title fight with Katie Taylor in Cardiff. Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Katie Taylor will still be eligible to win the WBA lightweight title in Cardiff on Saturday after it was made vacant when Anahi Sanchez failed to make weight.

Argentina’s Sanchez had been scheduled to make her first title defence on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s bout with Carlos Takam at the Principality Stadium, but has been stripped of the belt after being a pound overweight.

The 26-year-old was given a further two hours to successfully make the 9st 9lb limit but again could not do so, missing out by half a pound second time around.

Their fight will go ahead but only Taylor is eligible to win the vacant title.

Katie Taylor weighed in at 9st 8lb, one pound under the limit for the fight. Photograph: Lawrence Lustig/Inpho

A statement issued by fight promoters Matchroom read: “Anahi Sanchez failed to make the weight when she returned to the scales.

“The two teams have agreed that the fight will go ahead, the WBA world lightweight title is now vacant and only Katie can win the belt.”

Taylor, who is the heavy favourite to claim a first world title in just her seventh professional fight, weighed in one pound below the weight required at 9st 8lbs.

After the weigh-in the Taylor said: “[Sanchez’s missed weight] doesn’t bother me. I’ve completely focused on my performance.

“My mind is purely on the fight. It’s up to her to get the weight off.

“Tomorrow evening is definitely the biggest night of my career.”

The 10-round bout takes place on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title defence against Carlos Takam.

Both Joshua and Takam came in under the weight required with Joshua at the heaviest he’s ever been – 18st 2lbs – while Takam hit the scales at 16st 11lbs.