WHEREAS, on Saturday, May 2nd 2015, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. earned a unanimous-decision victory over Manny Pacquiao in one of the most highly anticipated boxing matches ever to become the Unified WBO/WBA/WBC Welterweight Champion of the World; and,
WHEREAS, during the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Post-Fight Press Conference at the MGM Grand on the night of the historic bout, 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.” (See, e.g.,Floyd Mayweather will relinquish all his title belts before final fight); and,
WHEREAS, pressed on the issue of vacating the championship belts, Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather productions, added: “Floyd has been in the sport 20 years and has accomplished everything in the sport.” “What else can he accomplish? There are younger guys up and coming and they’ll get an opportunity;” and,
WHEREAS, due to Champion Mayweather’s statements that he would relinquish all titles and his expressed desire to fight one non-title 12-rounder bout before retiring to allow for the development of young fighters, the WBO World Championship Committee approved the June 27th 2015 bout between Timothy Bradley, Jr. and Jessie Vargas for the Vacant WBO Welterweight Championship of the World; and,
WHEREAS, on May 20th 2015, having heard boxing commentators talk of an upcoming Bradley-Vargas bout for the Vacant WBO Welterweight title, a concerned letter is received from the Mayweather camp through his attorney, John Hornewer, stating that Mr. Mayweather had no definite plans for the future other than the September 2015 bout and specifically, desired to have a written confirmation from the WBO that he remained the WBO/WBA/WBC Unified Welterweight Champion of the World; and,
WHEREAS, the WBO, having acted on the previous statements of Mr. Mayweather in sanctioning the June 27th 2015 bout between Timothy Bradley, Jr. and Jessie Vargas for the Vacant WBO Welterweight Championship of the World, nonetheless, due to the WBO’s and Timothy Bradley, Jr.’s and Jessie Vargas great respect for Mr. Mayweather, the status of the June 27th 2015 bout between Timothy Bradley, Jr. and Jessie Vargas for the Vacant WBO Welterweight Championship of the World was amended to an Interim WBO Welterweight Championship of the World to allow Mr. Mayweather additional opportunity to make his determination whether he wished to retain the WBO Welterweight Championship in conformity with the WBO Rules; and,
WHEREAS, on May 22nd 2015, the WBO World Championship Committee sent a letter requesting that Champion Mayweather convey in writing -on or before Monday, June 1st 2015— his unequivocal intent to retain his WBO Welterweight title, in accordance with the WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests; and,
WHEREAS, the letter sent to Mr. Mayweather advised that Section 15 (b) of said regulations would require that he relinquish his WBA/WBC 154 lb. title, for “no WBO Champion may hold a non-WBO Championship in a weight class that is different from the weight class of his WBO Championship;” and,
WHEREAS, on June 1st 2015, a friendly reminder letter was sent to Mr. Mayweather, Jr. stating that his letter relinquishing the WBA/WBC titles was due on the same day; and,
WHEREAS, on the afternoon of June 1st Mr. Mayweather, Jr. sent a letter asking that the WBO World Championship Committee utilize its power and discretion conferred upon it as per Section 1 (b) (20) of the WBO Regulations in order to grant an exception or variation from the Rules and allow him until August 1st to respond to the May 22nd letter on whether he would relinquish his titles; and,
WHEREAS, Mayweather Jr. further stated on the June 1st missive that “entered the bout [on May 2nd 2015 against Manny Pacquiao] holding the WBA and WBC Welterweight and Super Welterweight Division titles,” respectively; and,
WHEREAS, Mayweather, Jr. furthermore expressed that “he is pleased and proud to be recognized and acknowledged as a WBO Champion” and that although “it has taken almost two decades for him to cross paths with the WBO, he is proud and honored to have done so;” and,
WHEREAS, on June 3rd, WBO President Francisco Valcarcel advised Mr. Hornewer that a request was made to the WBO Championship Committee to render a decision on Champion Mayweather’s request no later than Friday, June 5th 2015; and,
WHEREAS, on June 5th 2015 this WBO World Championship Committee resolved that while no future precedent was to be construed of the Resolution, that Section 1 (b) (20) of the WBO Regulations did in fact allow for certain extraordinary exceptions and flexibility, but that under no circumstances could it be interpreted as rendering any of our WBO Rules ineffective, and finally, that an extraordinary extension to allow Champion Mayweather to advise the WBO of his position within the WBO Welterweight division was granted until 4:30 PM EST on Friday, July 3rd 2015, under the following conditions:
- Mr. Floyd Mayweather Jr. ’s legal representatives had to confirm within the next five (5) days that they were in agreement with the conditions set forth on the June 5th Resolution.
- The WBO reserved the right to protect its Welterweight Division from stagnation, and to proceed in accordance with our Rules and Regulations and to afford the opportunity to other fighters, particularly those of a younger generation, in the spirit of Mr. Mayweather’s statements on May 2nd 2015; and,
- If Mr. Mayweather were to fail to comply with the terms and conditions of the June 5th Resolution and his legal representative not notify the WBO World Championship Committee of his intention to vacate titles in other weight divisions by the July 3rd deadline, the WBO would cease to recognize him as the WBO Welterweight Champion of the World.
- Finally, that the WBO Championship Committee would not grant any further extension on the matter.
WHEREAS, on June 10th 2015 WBO President Valcarcel and members of the WBO Championship Committee received an email communication from John Hornewer on behalf of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Mayweather Promotions LLC, confirming the acceptance of the four conditions set forth in the June 5th Resolution and thanking the WBO for accepting their request for an exception; and,
WHEREAS, the July 3rd 4:30 p.m. EST deadline passed, and the WBO received no response from Mr. Mayweather or his legal representatives advising of his intent to vacate titles in other weight divisions and complying with WBO Rules and Regulations of World Championship Contests, the matter has been referred to this WBO World Championship Committee; and,
WHEREAS, the WBO Championship Committee has full authority as per our WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests to resolve this matter and may, within our powers and discretion according to Section 1 (7) of the aforementioned Regulations, “recommend to the President and the Executive Committee that a Title should be vacated if a Champion fails to comply with the WBO World Championship Rules (Emphasis added); and,
WHEREAS, the WBO acknowledges Mr. Floyd Mayweather’s undeniable place atop the “pound for pound” lists as well as his notable performance on May 2nd 2015 to capture the WBO Welterweight Championship of the World against another extraordinary fighter in Manny Pacquiao; and,
WHEREAS, the WBO has the utmost respect for Floyd Mayweather Jr. and all that he has accomplished during his storied career, and that 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,
WHEREAS, Section 16 (1) of our Regulations stipulates that the WBO shall be paid a “Sanction Fee” (both Champion and Challenger) of a rate equal to three percent (3%) of their purses with a minimum of $1,000.00 and a maximum of $200,000.00 per boxer; and,
WHEREAS, it is expressly against our Rules (Section 15 (b)) for boxers to hold world titles in multiple weight classes and if a WBO Champion wins a title in a higher or lower weight division, the WBO Champion shall have ten (10) days to determine which weight division the WBO Champion will retain.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the WBO World Championship Committee according to our Regulations that:
- In the present case, Mr. Mayweather, Jr. failed to pay the $200,000.000 fee required of him as a participant of a WBO World Championship Contest.
- 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 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.
- This is a final decision of the WBO World Championship Committee. The affected WBO Participant may appeal to the Complaint and Grievance Committee pursuant to WBO World Championship Section 34, which per Rule 3(e) of the WBO Appeals Regulation, must be submitted in writing to the WBO President within fourteen (14) days of the date of this decision as its sole and exclusive remedy.
Dated in San Juan, Puerto Rico on this 6th day of July, 2015
Luis Batista Salas, Esq.
WBO Championship Committee
(Courtesy of the WBO)