After pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather outpointed Manny Pacquiao on May 2 in the richest fight in boxing history to unify three of the four major welterweight world titles, Mayweather spoke at length at the postfight news conference about how he planned to vacate all of his titles in order to give younger fighters a chance to realize their dreams of winning belts.
"I don't know if it will be Monday [May 4] or maybe a couple weeks," Mayweather said after the Pacquiao fight. "I'll talk to my team and see what we need to do. Other fighters need a chance. Give other fighters a chance. I'm not greedy. I'm a world champion in two different weight classes. It's time to let other fighters fight for the belt."
But it has been two months since the fight and Mayweather has not vacated any of his three welterweight titles or two junior middleweight titles, and the WBO has had enough.
Mayweather claimed the WBO welterweight title with the unanimous decision victory against Pacquiao but the Puerto Rico-based organization is poised to withdraw its recognition of Mayweather as its 147-pound titleholder after he failed to comply with a 4:30 p.m. ET deadline on Friday to pay his $200,000 sanctioning fee from the May 2 fight and to vacate the two 154-pound world titles he holds.
It is against sanctioning organization rules for boxers to hold world titles in multiple weight classes. The WBC and WBA have been breaking their own rules by allowing Mayweather to hold their titles, but the WBO has declined to break its rules for Mayweather and it has told him he must make a decision. Also, Mayweather, who originally did not plan to accept the WBO title involved in the May 2 bout with Pacquiao, had a change of heart. Yet, he has not yet paid the sanctioning fee, according to the WBO.
So with the deadline missed, the WBO on Friday referred Mayweather's situation to its championship committee. The WBO told ESPN.com that it likely will vote to strip Mayweather, perhaps as early as Monday.
Francisco "Paco" Valcarcel, president of the WBO, told ESPN.com last week -- emphatically -- that if Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs) did not comply with the rules he would be stripped if he missed the deadline.
On June 27, Timothy Bradley Jr. won a unanimous decision against Jessie Vargas to win the vacant WBO interim welterweight title in a fight initially announced as being for the vacant full title -- until Mayweather's change of heart. At that point it was reduced to an interim title bout. If Mayweather is indeed stripped, Bradley will be elevated to the organization's full titleholder.
Mayweather, who made at least $220 million from the Pacquiao fight, has won 11 world titles in five weight classes from 130 to 154 pounds during his brilliant 19-year career.
Mayweather plans to next fight on Sept. 12 -- opponent to be determined -- to complete his six-fight contract with Showtime/CBS. After that the 38-year-old Mayweather has said repeatedly that he plans to retire.