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Retired Mayweather allowed to keep titles

Unbeaten Floyd Mayweather officially retired after his 49th fight, a victory over Andre Berto on Sept. 12. Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports

After Floyd Mayweather outpointed Manny Pacquiao in their huge fight on May 2, Mayweather spent several minutes at the postfight news conference talking about how he was going to give up his various title belts.

The way Mayweather explained things, he did not need any world titles, and it was about time he gave some of the "young lions" a chance to realize their championship dreams.

Then Mayweather did the exact opposite. He didn't vacate his WBC and WBA welterweight and junior middleweight titles, and he fought hard to keep the WBO welterweight strap he won from Pacquiao. However, while the WBC and WBA have consistently broken their rules for the past year or two where Mayweather is concerned, the WBO stripped him for not adhering to its specific rules.

After Mayweather pasted Andre Berto on Saturday night, the champ announced his retirement, as expected. It stands to reason that a retirement announcement would lead to the automatic vacating of the belts. But Mayweather has not vacated the tiles, and neither the WBC nor the WBA has declared them vacant.

It is quite absurd to allow a retired boxer to continue to hold titles, much less in two weight classes simultaneously -- which is blatantly against the rules of both organizations.

The WBA, the alphabet body that regularly crowns as many as four titleholders in the same weight class, has not addressed Mayweather's status yet, but told ESPN.com it would eventually vacate the belts.

The WBC, which has allowed Mayweather to hold its junior middleweight title without defending it for two years (and hasn't even ordered a mandatory defense in that period of time, also against the rules), still won't address Mayweather's status. But at least it has said when it will.

It announced this week that it will not address Mayweather's titles until its annual convention, which this year will take place Nov. 1-6 in Kunming, China, where it will also give an update on all of its titles and mandatory situations.

"The future of the welterweight and [junior middleweight] divisions will be among the priority discussions during the convention," the WBC said.

That seems to be a long wait when the answer is clear: Mayweather is retired. His belts should be vacant -- as he said they would be after he beat Pacquiao -- and the "young lions" should duke it out to fill the vacancies.