In May, Floyd Mayweather beat Manny Pacquiao to win the World Boxing Organization’s (WBO) welterweight belt and took home more than $220 million for his trouble. On Monday, ESPN reports, the WBO stripped Mayweather of his belt for failing to pay a standard $200,000 sanctioning fee.
“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. “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.”
The WBO’s beef with Mayweather is pretty simple: He needed to pay the fee, but also Mayweather had to vacate titles held in other weight classes to keep the title. It’s against the organization’s rules to hold belts in multiple weight classes. Mayweather did neither despite, ESPN reports, the WBO going well out of its way to accommodate the fighter. Following the May 2nd fight Mayweather had even suggested he was planning to vacate all of his titles to give younger fighters a chance. Judging by the reaction to the decision by the Mayweather camp, the plan changed at some point (via ESPN).
“It’s 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 of hundred million he made from his last outing and this has zero impact on anything he does… Floyd Mayweather has a great deal of respect for each and every organization, as he has always had in his 19-year career, but he will not be dictated to by any organization or person as it relates to his decision making.”