Floyd Mayweather Jnr has been stripped of the WBO welterweight title he won against Manny Pacquiao after missing last Friday’s deadline to pay a $200,000 sanction fee to the WBO.
WBO world championship committee announced the decision to strip the 38-year-old of the prestigious title on Monday, with Timothy Bradley Jnr expected to be crowned champion after he controversially beat Jessie Vargas for the interim title last May.
“The WBO world championship committee is allowed no other alternative but to cease to recognize Mr. Floyd Mayweather Jnr as the WBO welterweight champion of the world and vacate his title for failing to comply with our WBO regulations of world championship contests,” WBO statements read.
“The WBO has the utmost respect for Floyd Mayweather Jnr and all that he has accomplished during his storied career. 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,” it adds.
Mayweather still has 14 days to appeal but the decision is unlikely to be reversed. However, he is still welterweight and super-welterweight champion for the WBC and WBA, even though boxers are not allowed to hold world titles in multiple weight classes.
Mayweather scored 116-112 on two judges’ cards and 118-110 on the other’s to maintain his prestigious undefeated record at the MGM Grand Garden Arena last May – a record that stretches across five weight divisions and spanning nearly two decades as a professional.
The controversial boxer is expected to fight for the 49th and possibly last time in September, although Anthony Mundine – the mandatory challenger for the American’s WBC super-welterweight title – has taken extraordinary step of writing an open letter begging the boxing’s pound-for-pound king to pick him as his next opponent.
Declaring himself ‘the uncrowned best athlete of all time’, Mundine challenged Mayweather to step into the ring and fight him. “I’ve got other attributes that none of these cats got! Makes for a good boxing spectacle both in and out of the ring. It’s what the boxing fans need to see! You want show time – I am show time! Somebody the world needs to see! I’ll give you a way better go than you been getting!
The former Australian rugby league star and current WBC silver super-welterweight champion delivers a knock-out punch in his letter: “It’s a 50-50 fight! Best athlete v best fighter? Both got fast feet fast hands & fast mouth haha …or relinquish the Title as you’re preventing fighters like me in this position to take on the other champions or the bigger names in sport!”
It is less likely that the embattled Floyd Mayweather could grab the bait, as he faces another battle to recover his lost crown.
By Olisemeka Obeche