Payment comes due to rules you don’t abide by.
By Nor Santos
The whole world watched Floyd Mayweather defeat Manny Pacquiao by unanimous decision during the so-called “Fight of the Century” last May at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, unifying three of the four major welterweight world titles and earning a reported $220 million in the richest fight of all time. In order to keep the belt he won in the match, World Boxing Organization (WBO) required him to pay a $200,000 sanctioning fee and vacate the two junior middleweight titles he also holds by July 3rd, 4:30 p.m. ET (2030 GMT). After Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs) missed the deadline and neglected to indicate which weight division he would retain, WBO escalated the matter to its championship committee which voted Monday afternoon to strip Mayweather of the belt for his failure to comply with the rules.
WBO rules require boxers to pay three-percent of their purse to fight for a world title up to a maximum of $200,000. It is also against their regulations for boxers to hold world titles in multiple weight classes. Mayweather is currently also the WBC and WBA champion at junior middleweight (154 pounds), as well as at welterweight (147 pounds). Typically, a 10-day duration is given by the WBO to a fighter who wins in another weight division to decide which weight class he wants to continue to hold the title in. Mayweather had asked the WBO for an August 1 deadline, but they only granted him until July 3.
WBO released a statement about the sanction saying, “Despite affording Mr. Mayweather Jr the courtesy of an extension to advise us of his position within the WBO Welterweight 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 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 Monday in its resolution.
It can be recalled that after the record-breaking title match, Mayweather spoke at length during the post-fight news conference on his plan to vacate all his titles to give younger fighters the chance to realize their dreams of winning belts. “Other fighters need a chance. Give other fighters a chance. I’m not greedy. I’m a world champion in two different weight classes. It’s time to let other fighters fight for the belt,” Mayweather said in the news conference.
Effective after WBO’s sanction over Mayweather, American Timothy Bradley, who defeated countryman Jessie Vargas for the WBO interim welterweight belt on June 27, is now expected to be formally elevated to full champion status. Mayweather has two weeks to file a written appeal with the WBO, but the decision is unlikely to be changed.
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