Having failed to relinquish his titles as promised, Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather has had his title stripped off him.
The WBO on Monday stripped the pound-for-pound king of his welterweight title for failure to comply with rules, the organization announced. Timothy Bradley will be elevated from interim champion to “regular” champ.
After Mayweather won the WBO title from Manny Pacquiao in the May 2 fight which many tagged “The fight of the Century,” he failed to pay the accompanying $200,000 sanctioning fee and also was asked to vacate his titles at WBC/WBA titles at junior middleweight. If he did both of those things, the WBO said, he would keep his title.
But after Mayweather indicated he would relinquish all his titles to give younger fighters a chance, the WBO sanctioned the Bradley-Jessie Vargas fight on June 27 (which was won by Bradley following a unanimous decision by the judges after the Referee Pat Russell mistakenly stopped the fight with four seconds to go) for the vacant title.
When Mayweather caught wind of the news, he became angry, and asked reporters how he could be stripped of a belt he never actually received.
After corresponding with Mayweather’s attorney, John Hornewer, the WBO elected to give Mayweather extra time to pay the fee and vacate his belts at 154 pounds. After numerous failed attempts to reach him before Friday’s deadline, the WBO said it had no choice but to strip him of the title so that the organization’s 147-pound division did not stagnate.
Bradley will be mandated to defend his belt against No. 1 contender Sadam Ali, and that bout could take place on Nov. 21 in Dubai, promoter Bob Arum said.
It’s unclear if and when Mayweather will relinquish his remaining belts (two at 147 and two at 154) as he planned to do after his victory over Pacquiao.
“I want to give other fighters a chance,” Mayweather said at the time. “I’m not greedy. I’m fortunate to be a champion in two weight classes right now. I’m the undisputed welterweight champion. I have the WBC and WBA belt at super welterweight. I have the WBO, WBA and WBC at 147. It’s time to let other fighters fight for the belts.”