The World Boxing Organization has stripped Floyd Mayweather, Jr. of the welterweight world title belt he earned when he defeated Manny Pacquiao in what was dubbed "fight of the century" in Las Vegas this year.
The five-weight world champion failed to pay the $200,000 sanctioning fee required of him as a participant of a WBO World Championship contest by July 3 deadline, the WBO said in a statement on Monday.
Mr. Mayweather also failed to vacate his World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Council (WBC) titles at junior middleweight, violating the WBO rule which bars its fighters from holding simultaneous world titles in multiple weight classes.
"Despite affording Mr. Mayweather Jr. the courtesy of an extension to advise us of his position within the WBO Welterweight Division and to vacate the two 154-pound world titles he holds, the WBO World Championship Committee received no response from him or his legal representatives on this matter," the WBO said on its website.
"The WBO World Championship Committee is allowed no other alternative but to cease to recognise 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 said in a statement on Monday.
Mayweather promoters expressed their displeasure with the decision.
"It's a complete disgrace," Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe told sports entertainment company 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.”
Mayweather, who earned over $220 million from the fight which generated a record pay-per-view revenue in the United States of $400 million, has until July 20 to launch a written appeal with WBO.