The World Boxing Organization (WBO) stripped Floyd Mayweather Jr. of his welterweight title, two months after he defeated Manny Pacquiao in the May 2 Fight of the Century.
The reason? Mayweather missed the 4:30 p.m. deadline on Friday to pay a $200,000 sanctioning fee from the fight to maintain the belt.
Mayweather also refused to vacate his other his 154-pound WBC and WBA junior middleweight titles, violating WBO rule: no WBO Champion may hold a non-WBO Championship in different weight classes.
WBO usually gives a fighter 10 days to decide which title he/she wants to keep but Mayweather was given two months. Despite the extension, Mayweather still failed to respond.
“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,” WBO said in a statement. “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.”
“It’s a complete disgrace. Floyd will decide what, or 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,” Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe told ESPN.com. “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.”
And besides, what is one world title when you’ve made between $220-230 million on a fight not to mention setting all kinds of financial records such as pay-per-view subscriptions, close circuit revenue and live gate. This does not change much: the fight was still a lousy fight and Mayweather still holds the WBA and WBC welterweight title and Money is still Forbes’ world’s highest paid celebrity and athlete in 2015.