Floyd Mayweather has been controversially stripped of the welterweight World Boxing Organization title belt, just two months after beating Manny Pacquiao.
Mayweather had until Friday to pay a sanctioning fee off $200,000 to the WBO. When the deadline passed without the money being deposited the belt became vacant.
WBO rules require boxers to pay up to 3 per cent of their world title fight purse (up to a maximum of $200,000) to the organisation.
And it’s not like ‘Money’ Mayweather couldn’t afford it. The fight in Las Vegas on May 2 earned him a reported $220 million!
WBO rules also prohibit champions from holding any belts in any other weight divisions.
Such a rule is a farce, showing just how out of touch the organisation is from the athletes and fans of the sport they govern.
Mayweather currently holds WBC and WBA titles at middlewiehgt (154lb) and welterweight (147lb).
A statement on the Puerto Rico-based sanctioning body’s website confirmed the embarrassment: Mayweather is no longer the WBO champion.
“Mr Mayweather, Jr. failed to pay the $200,000 fee required of him as a participant of a WBO World championship Contest.
“Despite affording Mr Mayweather, Jr. the courtesy of an extension to advise us of his position within the WBO Welterwight division and to vacate the two 154-pound world titles he holds, the WBO World Championship Committee received no response from him or his legal representatives on this matter.
“The WBO World Championship Committee is allowed no other alternative but to cease to recognise Mr. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. as the WBO Welterweight Champion of the World and vacate his title.”
One has to ask why Mayweather would pay $200,000 just to be recognised for a belt he already has? The WBO may have stripped him of his title, but the rest of the world still recognises him as the champion.