Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather fought Manny Pacquiao and won the welterweight title in a May 2 matchup dubbed "the fight of the century." However, the World Boxing Organization decided to strip Mayweather's title away from him on Monday thanks to the organization's rules.
The WBO released an official statement that explained why the organization decided to vacate Mayweather's welterweight championship title. The organization cited comments that Mayweather made in a press conference conducted after the fight on May 2 as part of its decision.
"Mr. Mayweather spoke at length about affording the opportunity to other fighters, particularly those of a younger generation and specifically stated that 'Other fighters need to get a chance' and 'I'm not greedy. It's time to let other fighters fight for the belt,'" WBO wrote.
The boxing organization referred to its rules in vacating Mayweather's title. They asked him to "relinquish his WBA/WBC 154 lb. title."
"No WBO Champion may hold a non-WBO Championship in a weight class that is different from the weight class of his WBO Championship," the organization wrote.
Sean Gregory of Time explained why the WBO made that decision against Mayweather. The boxer would have two weeks to file an appeal.
"In other words, the WBO can't recognize Mayweather as its welterweight champ so long as he keeps on to the super-welterweight division titles he holds from the WBA and WBC," Gregory wrote. "Mayweather refused to vacate his other titles by a July 3 deadline, and pay the WBO a $200,000 sanctioning fee. So the WBO stripped Mayweather of his welterweight title."
Gregory then addressed the question of whether the WBO's decision would affect the outcome of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.
"Not at all," Gregory wrote. "Mayweather is still the WBA and WBC welterweight champ. The fight was still a boring fight."
Gregory added that the revenue stream from that fight, which set many financial records, would not be affected either. He also thought it would not impact Mayweather's boxing legacy.
"Mayweather's troubling domestic violence history will carry much, much more weight on people's judgments of him than any bureaucratic snafu," Gregory wrote. "This whole mess just captures the trouble with boxing: there's no unified leadership, no organizational structure to push the sport into the future, and attract new passionate fans."
Representatives from Mayweather's camp made their displeasure with the WBO known to Dan Rafael of ESPN. One of them included Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe.
"It's a complete disgrace," Ellerbe said. "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."
Ellerbe added that Mayweather is probably unfazed by the WBO's decision.
"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," Ellerbe said.
According to Ellerbe, the boxer has not decided yet if he plans to appeal.
"We have the best attorney in the game, John Hornewer, and we are fully aware of what our rights are," Ellerbe said. "Floyd will decide what he wants to do."
Although the WBO stripped Mayweather of his title, the organization acknowledged his storied boxing career.
"The WBO has the utmost respect for Floyd Mayweather Jr. and all that he has accomplished during his storied career," WBO wrote. "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."