News that the World Boxing Organization (WBO) will stop recognizing Floyd May-weather Jr. as its world welterweight champion after he failed (or refused) to pay the $200,000 sanctioning fee means absolutely nothing to the undefeated American boxer. And it also would not result to any kind of redemption for Manny Pacquiao.
Truth is the WBO world welterweight (145-pound) title was never coveted by Mayweather when he stepped into the ring against Pacquiao on May 3 in Las Vegas. What he simply wanted to do on May 3 was to beat Pacquiao, keep his unblemished record and collect his mega paycheck. That’s all. So the WBO stripping him of his world welterweight title means absolutely nothing to him, especially now that he is enjoying his millions. And the American made a statement after the Pacquiao fight that he would vacate his world titles to allow younger fighters in the welterweight and junior middleweight (154-pound) divisions to shine.
That says it all—Mayweather cares little or doesn’t care at all on whether he won the WBO, World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Council (WBC), International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Federation, World Boxing Mafia, World Boxing Syndicate, or World Boxing Moneymakers title in the welterweight division when he beat Pacquiao on May 3.
What should alarm Mayweather is The Ring magazine stripping him of recognition as the top welterweight in the world today. And I guess that won’t happen because The Ring ranks boxers based more on ring performance. And guess what—Mayweather is also ranked the top junior middleweight and the top pound-for-pound boxer today by The Ring.
But there is a flipside from Mayweather losing recognition from the WBO as the world welterweight champion—when a boxer reaches the pinnacle of his career with his millions intact, world titles can mean nothing to him. Or absolutely nothing. And there’s the issue of having too many world boxing groups handing out their own world titles.
It’s a good thing The Ring has its own rankings, which can help fight fans distinguish who are the real world boxing champions and the genuine contenders.
During the time when Muham-mad Ali was dominating the world heavyweight scene, there were only two recognized boxing groups—the WBA and the WBC. So can either or both organizations claim that the title belts they hand out to “champions” are prestigious or the real thing?
But I remember an occasion when a boxer literally threw his WBC title belt into the trashcan.
It was in December 1992 when former world heavyweight boxing champion Riddick Bowe ceremoniously threw his WBC title belt into a trashcan in what was seen as a move to avoid getting into the ring with Lennox Lewis. Bowe still held the IBF and WBA titles when he threw his WBC belt away. The WBC recognized Lewis as its champion immediately after Bowe dumped the organization’s world heavyweight title.
Up to this day, Bowe still holds the distinction of being the first boxer to literally throw away a world title. In the meantime, Mayweather isn’t the first boxer to be stripped of a world title, but he may hold the distinction of being the first to be withdrawn recognition for not paying a world boxing organization the sanctioning fee.
Perhaps Mayweather has earned enough figures (i.e. millions of dollars) that he already cares little about the alphabet.