Jaelyn Allen | Staff Writer
On July 6, Floyd Mayweather Jr. was stripped of WBO Welterweight Title he won against Manny Pacquiao in May. The welterweight boxing champion missed the deadline by which he had to pay a $200,000 sanctioning fee from “the Fight of the Century” which was just a fraction of the $220 million+ he earned. He also failed to vacate the two junior middleweight titles that he also holds.
Mayweather beat Pacquiao in a 147-pound unification fight on May 2nd, claiming the World Boxing Organization welterweight title. Financially, the fight broke multiple records, including total gross, pay-per-view subscriptions, closed circuit revenue, live gate, foreign television sales and sponsorships.
It is against sanctioning rules for boxers to hold titles in multiple weight classes. In its resolution on Monday, the WBO wrote, “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 WBC and WBA, however, were lenient with Mayweather and allowed him to hold their titles.
The Mayweather camp called the ruling “a complete disgrace.” Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe told ESPN.com, “Floyd will decide what, or if any, actions he will take. But in the meantime he’s enjoying a couple hundred million he made from his last outing and this has zero impact on anything he does.”
At the post-Pacquiao fight news conference, Mayweather spoke about plans to vacate all his titles in order to let younger fighters have the chance to win belts. “I don’t know if it will be Monday [May 4th] or maybe a couple weeks,” he said to the press. “I’ll talk to my team and see what we need to do. 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’s decision to ignore the WBO’s requests will not impact him financially nor will it affect his record (48-0, 26 KOs). Ultimately, it all comes down to money. The WBO wanted to be paid for the fight and Mayweather did not want to pay them, especially when he already planned on relinquishing his titles.
His opponent, Manny Pacquiao, told AFP that he thought the WBO had been fair to Mayweather. “Maybe he just didn’t want to pay the sanctioning fee,” he said. “He was given enough time to fulfill his responsibilities as WBO champion and to decide whether he should relinquish his WBO 147 pound crown.”
He has 14 days to appeal the WBO’s decision, although it is unlikely that the ruling will change. If the issue is not resolved, the title is expected to go to Timothy Bradley, who beat Jessie Vargas in an interim title bout last month. According to Ellerbe, Mayweather has not decided whether or not he wants to appeal. “We have the best attorney in the game, John Hornewer, and we are fully aware of what our rights are,” he said. “Floyd will decide what he wants to do.”
In his 19-year career, Floyd “Money” Mayweather has won 11 world titles in five weight classes, from 130-154 pounds. The 38-year-old fighter plans to retire after his next fight, which is scheduled for September 12, completing his six-fight contract with Showtime/CBS. There are talks that the bout could be aired live for free on CBS, which would give the often criticized Mayweather a happy, fan-friendly ending to what has been a very long and successful career.