Just two months following Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s commanding performance against Manny Pacquiao in the Fight of the Century, the title that Mayweather claimed with that win is now being taken away from him. On Monday, the WBO stripped Mayweather of his welterweight title.
The reason? Mayweather apparently hasn’t been following the rules since the fight.
Mayweather was supposed to have paid a $200,000 sanctioning fee. He didn’t. It’s probably worth noting here that Mayweather earned more than $220 million for his fight —the most lucrative bout in boxing story — against Pacquiao.
In addition to failing to pay the fee, Mayweather also failed to comply with the rules when he didn’t give up the two junior middleweight titles that are also in his possession, as owning titles in different weight classes is against organization rules.
Because of those two rules and Mayweather’s failure to abide by them, the WBO stripped away Mayweather’s welterweight title.
“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 wrote in its resolution on Monday.
Mayweather’s camp did not react favorably to the WBO’s decision.
“It’s a complete disgrace,” Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe told ESPN. “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.”
The WBO did, however, extend itself to make sure Mayweather was given the chance to follow the rules. It allowed Mayweather two months to decide which weight class he wanted to own a title in — boxers are usually given just 10 days to decide.
“The WBO has the utmost respect for Floyd Mayweather Jr. and all that he has accomplished during his storied career,” the WBO wrote. “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, who previously talked about willingly vacating his titles, has 14 days to appeal the decision.
“We have the best attorney in the game, John Hornewer, and we are fully aware of what our rights are,” Ellerbe told ESPN. “Floyd will decide what he wants to do.”
Mayweather still has one more fight on his contract, which is scheduled for September. After that, it’s expected that Mayweather will step away from boxing.