Boxing: Mayweather stripped of title he won in Pacquiao fight

Floyd Mayweather Jr (left) and Manny Pacquiao at the WBO, WBC and WBA title fight in Las Vegas.
Floyd Mayweather Jr (left) and Manny Pacquiao at the WBO, WBC and WBA title fight in Las Vegas.PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS/GUARDIAN) - Floyd Mayweather Jr has been stripped of the welterweight world title he won after beating Filipino Manny Pacquiao this year for failing to comply with rules, the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) said on Monday.

Mayweather, who improved to 48-0 by beating Pacquiao in May, missed a deadline by which he had to pay a US$200,000 sanctioning fee from the fight and vacate the junior middleweight title he also held, the WBO said in a statement.

The WBO said it is against rules for boxers to hold world titles in multiple weight classes and that Mayweather had to indicate which weight division he would retain.

Mayweather, who finished ahead on all three scorecards of what proved to be the top-grossing prize fight of all-time, had until last Friday to advise the WBO of his position.

Said the WBO in a statement: "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."

Interim WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley will step up to take the belt.

Mayweather, who earned over US$200 million from the fight which generated a record pay-per-view revenue in the United States of US$400 million, has two weeks to launch an appeal.

Added the WBO: "The WBO has the utmost respect for Floyd Mayweather Jr 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."

Mayweather still holds WBC and WBA titles. He had said after the Pacquiao fight that he would relinquish his belts: "Other fighters need to get a chance. I'm not greedy. I'm a world champion at two different weight classes right now … It's time to let other fighters fight for the belts."

However, the choice has now been taken out of his hands.