ESPN's Dan Rafael reported on July 6 that the World Boxing Organization (WBO) stripped Floyd Mayweather, Jr. of the welterweight title he won from Manny Pacquiao for failure to comply with the rules.
The World Boxing Organization (WBO) has stripped Floyd Mayweather, Jr. of his welterweight crown.
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According to a July 6 update from ESPN's Dan Rafael, the WBO did so due to Mayweather's "failure to comply with the organization's rules."
The 38-year-old Mayweather won the WBO welterweight title from Manny Pacquiao on May 2. The megafight shattered every financial records, per Rafael.
The ESPN report says Mayweather missed paying a $200,000 sanctioning fee for the Pacquiao bout on the 4:30 p.m. ET deadline on July 3. Mayweather earned roughly $220 million. The WBO also required him to vacate the two junior middleweight titles he has.
Rafael stresses boxing governing bodies forbid their boxers from holding titles in different weight divisions. Ironcially, the WBC and WBA broke their own rules by allowing Mayweather to do so. The WBO did not.
The WBO normally gives its fighters a 10-day period to decide which titles in a particular weight class they want to retain. This applies to boxers who are champions in multiple weight divisions, per ESPN.
The WBO gave Mayweather two months to make a decision.
Once the deadline passed, the WBO escalated the matter to its championship committee, which voted to forfeit Mayweather's welterweight title belt by virtue of non-compliance with the organization's rules, per ESPN.
Rafael then obtained a resolution from the WBO explaining its decision to forfeit Mayweather's welterweight crown:
"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.
"The WBO has the utmost respect for Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and all that he has accomplished during his storied career. 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."
For his part, Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe told Rafael the WBO ruling is "a complete disgrace":
"It's a complete disgrace. Floyd will decide what, of if any, actions he will take. But in the meantime he's enjoying a couple of hundred million he made from his last outing and this has zero impact on anything he does.
"Floyd Mayweather has a great deal of respect for each and every organization, as he has always had in his 19-year career, but he will not be dictated to by any organization or person as it relates to his decision making."
Mayweather said during his post-fight press conference on May 2 he had planned on vacating all of his titles so other boxers can have a chance of becoming world champion, per ESPN.
The WBO then scheduled a title fight between Timothy Bradley, Jr. and Jessie Vargas for the vacant welterweight title for June 27. When he found out, Mayweather was none too pleased. He wrote a letter to the WBO by way of his lawyer John Hornewer on May 20 he was against the idea, per Rafael.
After this, the WBO gave its title-retention requirements to Mayweather.
Rafael says Ellerbe believes WBO president Francisco "Paco" Valcarcel sanctioned Mayweather because he wanted to help Top Rank promoter Bob Arum. The ESPN update says Arum is promoting the Bradley vs. Vargas bout. He also has close ties to the World Boxing Organization.
Mayweather has 14 days to appeal the WBO's decision. Ellerbe told Rafael the 11-time world champion has yet to hint if he will appeal or not.
Rafael, a respected boxing analyst, says "the decision is unlikely to be changed."
Bradley beat Vargas by unanimous decision on June 27. With that, he is expected to be the new WBO welterweight champion. Prior to stripping Mayweather of his title, the WBO reclassified the fight for its interim title, per ESPN.
Mayweather's WBO success proved to be short-lived. Prior to beating Pacquiao, he had never won a WBO title, per BoxingJunkie.com's Mike Coppinger.
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