The World Boxing Organization (WBO), in an effort to further delegitimize the sport of professional boxing, is soon expected to strip Floyd Mayweather, Jr. of the title he won from Manny Pacquiao in May 2’s historic dud of a fight.
Mayweather has never been known for taking the fight to anyone, but he runs and counterpunches well, and his elusive — some might say cowardly — style resulted in another indisputable decision over Pacquiao when the two met up that fateful Saturday night a couple of months ago.
As you can see, I’m no fan of Mayweather, and find it hard to see how any true fight fan could be, considering he’s had to win eight of his last nine fights by decision and the one knockout was from a cheap shot that almost got him in a skirmish with old-guy Larry Merchant after the fight.
That being said, the World Boxing Organization isn’t doing the sport any favors by taking the belt from him.
Why? Because the WBO welterweight title was won fair and square in a ring. Unless Mayweather goes back to prison or retires or gets an injury that keeps him out of action for years, that’s where it should be lost.
But boxing has had a long and storied habit of passing arbitrary rules that can remove a legitimately-won title from the waist of a fighter at any time.
The WBO’s reason for removing the belt from Mayweather? He also holds the WBC and WBA belts at junior middleweight, and a fighter, by rules of the World Boxing Organization, cannot hold world titles in multiple weight divisions.
“To remain the WBO champion at 147 [pounds], Mayweather must vacate his WBC/WBA titles at 154 [pounds] — which he hasn’t defended since September of 2013,” said Miguel Vera’s Boxing Scene report.
And if Mayweather refuses (which I would fully expect him to)?
The WBO has that covered. They’re going to “award” the title to Timothy Bradley, a guy who has one decision victory over Manny Pacquiao in spite of the fact that 99.9 percent of boxing fans and analysts believe Pacquiao was robbed in that fight.
(Pacman would later avenge the loss-that-should-never-have-been in a second lopsided bout that actually went his way.)
When you have a sport where a fighter can so easily lose his title without actually losing, you can’t be taken seriously. If the World Boxing Organization knows what is good for them (and boxing), they will change this rule pronto.
[Image via WBO Boxing]