Sensational news coming out of the U.S tonight, with Floyd Mayweather Jr. being stripped of his world title, which he retained in his multi-million dollar fight with Manny Pacquiao. It is understood Mayweather failed to pay a $200,000 sanctioning fee from the May 2 fight (for which he earned more than $220 million,) a figure which totals less than o.1% of his earnings for that fight. Mayweather also had until 4:30 p.m. ET Friday to vacate the two junior middleweight titles he also holds. Mayweather let the deadline pass without fulfilling his obligations, and the WBO governing body have punished him in the most severest way.
“The WBO world championship committee is allowed no other alternative but to cease to recognize Mr. Floyd Mayweather Jr. as the WBO welterweight champion of the world and vacate his title for failing to comply with our WBO regulations of world championship contests.”
It is against sanctioning organization rules for boxers to hold world titles in multiple weight classes. The WBC and WBA had been breaking their own rules by allowing Mayweather to hold their titles, but the WBO upheld its rules.
“The WBO has the utmost respect for Floyd Mayweather Jr. and all that he has accomplished during his storied career,” the WBO wrote in its resolution. “Mr. Mayweather has always agreed with and understood that world championships have both privileges and responsibilities and that status as WBO champion is subject to and conditioned on compliance with the WBO rules and regulations.”
Mayweather had said in the aftermath of the Pacquiao fight that he intended to vacate his titles to give up and comers a chance.
“I don’t know if it will be Monday [May 4] or maybe a couple weeks,” Mayweather said in the news conference. “I’ll talk to my team and see what we need to do. Other fighters need a chance. Give other fighters a chance. I’m not greedy. I’m a world champion in two different weight classes. It’s time to let other fighters fight for the belt.”
The WBO on hearing this decided to make Timothy Bradley Jr. vs Jessie Vargas on the 27th of June a title fight for the welterweight belt.
When Mayweather heard, he objected to the WBO in a letter from his lawyer, John Hornewer, on May 20. The WBO then laid out to Mayweather what he needed to do to keep the title, namely pay the fee and vacate the junior middleweight belts.
The WBO also reclassified the Bradley-Vargas bout as for the interim title. Bradley won the fight on points, and today the WBO have confirmed that Timothy Bradley Jr. is now the official WBO welterweight title holder.
It is unclear at this point whether Mayweather will appeal the WBO’s ruling. We do know this, he plans to fight on the 12th of September, the opponent has not been announced, to complete his six-fight contract with Showtime/CBS. After this, he has made it clear that he intend to retire