TIME Boxing

Why Floyd Mayweather Lost His ‘Fight of the Century’ Title

floyd mayweather Boxer
Gregg DeGuire—Getty Images Boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. arrives at Spike TV's "Guys Choice 2015" at Sony Pictures Studios on June 6, 2015 in Culver City, Calif.

The reason one of boxing's sanctioning bodies stripped the champ of his welterweight title

On Monday the World Boxing Organization (WBO) stripped Floyd Mayweather Jr. of the welterweight title he secured after he defeated Manny Pacquiao in the May 2 “fight of the century” (which was anything but).

According to WBO rules, Mayweather has two weeks to appeal this decision. Here’s everything to know about why Mayweather lost his belt:

Why was Mayweather stripped of his title?

For bureaucratic infighting, something boxing is very familiar with. By beating Pacquiao, Mayweather was recognized by three of boxing’s alphabet soup of sanctioning bodies — the WBO, the World Boxing Association (WBA) and the World Boxing Council (WBC) — as the welterweight champ.

The WBO rules, however, dictate that “no WBO Champion may hold a non-WBO Championship in a weight class that is different from the weight class of his WBO Championship.”

In other words, the WBO can’t recognize Mayweather as its welterweight champ so long as he keeps on to the super-welterweight division titles he holds from the WBA and WBC. Mayweather refused to vacate his other titles by a July 3 deadline, and pay the WBO a $200,000 sanctioning fee. So the WBO stripped Mayweather of his welterweight title.

Does this impact the outcome of Mayweather-Pacquiao fight?

Not at all. Mayweather is still the WBA and WBC welterweight champ. The fight was still a boring fight.

Does this impact all the crazy money generated by the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight?

No. The fight still set all kinds of financial records: most pay-per view subscriptions, close circuit revenue, live gate. So what’s one world title when you’ve made between $220-230 million on a fight, as Mayweather reportedly did for fighting Pacquiao?

What does Mayweather think about it?

The man Forbes recently named the highest-earning celebrity in the world hasn’t publicly weighed in on the WBO’s decision — but his reps are outraged. “It’s a complete disgrace,” Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, told ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael. “Floyd will decide what, or if any, actions he will take. But in the meantime he’s enjoying a couple of hundred million he made from his last outing and this has zero impact on anything he does.”

Will this impact Mayweather’s legacy?

Another no. Most sports fans couldn’t care less whether a boxer holds the WBC or WBO or ABC or WTF titles. Mayweather, 38, is a technically brilliant fighter with a 48-0 record, whose escapist style has frustrated punch-thirsty fans who tune into his megafights. He’s likely to retire after his next bout, in September.

Mayweather’s troubling domestic violence history will carry much, much more weight on people’s judgments of him than any bureaucratic snafu. This whole mess just captures the trouble with boxing: there’s no unified leadership, no organizational structure to push the sport into the future, and attract new passionate fans.

TIME Boxing

That Welterweight Title Mayweather Won When He Beat Pacquiao? He Doesn’t Hold It Anymore

So much for the "fight of the century"

The World Boxing Organization has stripped Floyd Mayweather Jr. of the welterweight world title he earned two months ago, when he defeated Manny Pacquiao in what was called the fight of the century.

Mayweather, whose victory in the fight earned him $200 million, failed to pay a $200,000 sanctioning fee he owed the WBO by a Friday afternoon deadline. He also failed to relinquish the junior middleweight title he held prior to the May 2 fight, violating the WBO rule prohibiting its fighters from holding simultaneous titles in different weight classes.

“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,” the WBO said in a statement.

Reuters reports that he has two weeks to file an appeal.

TIME Boxing

Floyd Mayweather Tops Highest-Paid Athletes List With $300 Million Year

Spike TV's "Guys Choice 2015" - Arrivals
Jason LaVeris—FilmMagic Floyd Mayweather, Jr. attends Spike TV's "Guys Choice 2015" at Sony Pictures Studios on June 6, 2015 in Culver City, California.

There's a reason his nickname is "Money"

Floyd Mayweather Jr. has done it again.

The 38-year-old boxer was billed as the world’s highest-paid athlete for the third time in four years, according to the annual list released by Forbes magazine.

Mayweather made a staggering $300 million over the past 12 months, aided by his megabout against Philippine superstar Manny Pacquiao that is expected to rake in over $600 million. That fight alone fetched him $100 million up front (plus a 60% share of the $400 million revenues from TV viewership, tickets for the fight and sponsorships), while his September 2014 defeat of Marcos Maidana, as well as several endorsement and merchandise deals, capped off a record-breaking earnings year.

Although Pacquiao lost the fight against Mayweather, preserving the latter’s undefeated 48-0 record, he won big on the financial front too. The Filipino icon clocked in at second place on the highest-paid athletes list, up from 11th last year. Soccer stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were third and fourth respectively, with Swiss tennis icon Roger Federer rounding off the top five.


TIME mma

Ronda Rousey Says She’d Only Fight Floyd Mayweather ‘if We Were Dating’

Take that Floyd

Undefeated UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey said she’d have no problem taking down controversial boxing icon Floyd Mayweather if push came to shove.

During an interview with Access Hollywood this week, the former Olympian said it’s unlikely the two will ever meet in the ring, before delivering a pop shot at the boxer’s checkered history with domestic violence.

“Well, I would never say that I can’t beat anyone, but I don’t think me and him would ever fight, unless we ended up dating,” said Rousey.

In 2012, Mayweather spent almost three months behind bars after being found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend.

[Access Hollywood]

TIME Boxing

See Mitt Romney Throw a Punch in Holyfield Boxing Match

Mitt Romney fought boxing champ Evander Holyfield in a charity boxing match

TIME mitt romney

Mitt Romney Once Again Set to Lose, This Time in Boxing

The 2012 presidential nominee is set to face world champ Evander Holyfield for charity


Mitt Romney is going to lose. But unlike his 2008 and 2012 presidential bids, he knows it ahead of time.

Romney, who has never previously boxed, is scheduled to face world heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield during a charity event Friday evening in Utah. The former Republican governor of Massachusetts and 2012 GOP presidential nominee enters the ring as the undeniable underdog. Romney’s optimistic entrance music? “I Will Survive.”

“I expect to be beaten but unbowed,” Romney told the New York Times magazine in an interview.

Romney, the stiff patrician who is more comfortable captaining his boat around New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee than throwing haymakers, is using the stunt to raise cash for Charity Vision, which has ties to the Romney clan. The former governor’s wife, Ann, is on the organization’s board of directors; his son Josh is the group’s president.

Promoters estimate $1 million will go to the group, which helps treat blindness and eye problems in 25 countries. That sum would pay for about 40,000 eye surgeries from El Salvador to Indonesia.

But trading in cuff links for boxing gloves is a shift for Romney, who traded verbal jabs with President Obama but little more. Now, he’s facing down a four-time world champion and Olympic bronze medalist.

It is unlikely that Holyfield will be cowed by Romney’s tenure running 2002’s Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

“I will be doing a bit of dancing and dodging Friday night,” Romney told the magazine, comparing it to taking political hits during two runs for president.

A 30-second negative commercial, however, is unlikely to have anything close to the pain Holyfield could inflict on Romney’s matinee-idol jawline.

Romney advisers are hoping the jabs will be for show and in good humor. The fight is supposed to go three rounds, but the play-acting in the ring could be cut short once the novelty wears off. After all, one Romney friend says, the governor is doing this more to help his family continue its charity work than to put himself back in the spotlight.

While absurd, Romney is hardly the first political figure to stray from staid formality to help his own cause. Richard Nixon appeared on NBC’s “Laugh-In” variety show as a candidate in 1968, and presidential hopefuls are frequent election year cameos on “Saturday Night Live.” Former Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay shook his rump on “Dancing With the Stars,” only to withdraw with a fractured foot.

And former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the GOP’s 2008 vice presidential nominee, signed with “Survivor” producer Mark Burnett for her own reality show, “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.” She has since been branded “the first lady of the outdoors” on the Sportsman Channel’s “Amazing America.”

Still, no politician has yet to take a right cross to the face from a boxing champ. Romney’s allies are betting Holyfield goes easy, and that the two-time presidential hopeful doesn’t become the first politician to know the literal meaning of being on-the-ropes.

TIME Boxing

Showtime and HBO Among Those Hit With Lawsuit Over Pacquiao Injury

Manny Pacquiao during press conference after the title unification fight vs Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas on May 2, 2015.
Robert Beck—Sports Illustrated/Getty Images Manny Pacquiao during press conference after the title unification fight vs Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas on May 2, 2015.

A class action lawsuit alleges that there was a duty to determine the fighter's health before advertising the 'Fight of the Century'

Manny Pacquiao’s failure to check a box that he was injured is creating a rain of class action litigation. Five lawsuits have already been filed. Perhaps the most unusual one comes in Illinois where the plaintiffs are not only suing Pacquiao’s promoter Top Rank and his adversary Floyd Mayweather, but also Showtime, HBO, AT&T, Comcast and DirecTV.

A judge will have to decide whether the plaintiffs really have standing to sue on allegations that Pacquiao’s shoulder injury was concealed, but in the meantime, those who paid between $89 to $100 to watch the fight on pay-per-view are now alleging their own injuries. The lawsuit seeks $300 million in damages over an event labeled as “Fight of the Century” with no disclosure about Pacquiao’s injury.

According to the lawsuit, “If any of Defendants, between April 4, 2015 and May 2, 2015, had disclosed that Pacquiao, the underdog, had injured his right shoulder, or had suffered a torn right rotator cuff during training, or had been recommended to rest for 30 to 40 days beginning on and around April 6, 2015, or that his right arm was at an estimated 60% of full functioning, they would not have realized the number of pay-per-view purchases they were anticipating.”

Exactly what legal obligations do broadcast outlets with sports telecast rights have in advance of an event?

The lawsuit filed by attorneys Robert Duncan and Thomas Cronin makes the uphill case that those obligations are extensive.

HBO and Showtime are alleged to have committed negligent misrepresentation by failing “to determine and disclose, though it knew or should have known, that Pacquiao had injured his right shoulder” or by continuing to promote the fight as “The Fight of the Century” “even though it knew that Pacquiao was injured and likely unable to compete with boxer Mayweather.”

Here’s the complaint.

Showtime had no comment while Daniel Petrocelli, an attorney for Top Rank, has put out a statement, “The lawsuits are factually wrong and legally wrong, and we expect they will be dismissed in due course.”

Meanwhile, there’s still other class action lawyers who are swinging their fists in a different direction.

One lawsuit in Missouri targets Charter Communications over a cable outage that prevented customers in the St. Louis area from watching the fight. According to that lawsuit, these individuals “were outraged by their inability to watch the fight that they had paid for.”

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.

More from The Hollywood Reporter:

TIME Boxing

Here’s What Floyd Mayweather Has to Say to Pacquiao and All the Haters

In his 19-year career, the undefeated boxer says he has only had one excuse

Floyd Mayweather Jr. has a message for Manny Pacquiao and everyone who’s against him.

“Nineteen years in the fight game and I’ve had one excuse: Don’t have an excuse,” said the boxer, who was booed by a large section of the MGM Grand crowd on Saturday after defeating Philippines’ champion Manny Pacquiao on points. “Winners win and losers have excuses.”

Even though Mayweather extended his unbeaten record to 48-0 in the “Fight of the Century,” he is far from a popular man, and crowd favorite Pacquiao said after the bout that he didn’t agree with the judge’s unanimous decision and thought he had beaten the American.

Pacquiao’s apparent “excuse,” meanwhile — a shoulder injury that he didn’t report before the fight — may result in a class-action lawsuit and possible suspension.

Read next: See the Mayweather-Pacquiao Fight Recreated as a Game of Punch-Out!!

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Boxing

Manny Pacquiao Is Facing a $5 Million Class-Action Lawsuit

Controversy over that shoulder injury intensifies

Manny Pacquiao has been named in a $5 million class-action lawsuit, filed Tuesday, claiming that the boxer and his team had failed to disclose his shoulder injury to the Nevada Athletic Commission prior to his May 2 match against Floyd Mayweather Jr., as required by law.

The lawsuit, filed by Stephane Vanel and Kami Rahbaran, “on behalf of all persons who purchased tickets; purchased the pay per view event or who wagered money on the event,” claims damages for those who “were victimized by [the] Defendants’ failure to disclose and to cover up the injuries of Defendant Pacquiao.”

Filed in a Las Vegas U.S. District Court, the suit names Pacquiao, his promotion company Top Rank Inc. and president Todd DuBoef, adviser Michael Koncz and promoter Bob Arum as defendants.

The lawsuit comes on the heels of a Monday report by the Associated Press that said Francisco Aguilar, chairman of the Nevada Athletic Commission, was investigating why Pacquiao checked “no” when asked to disclose if he was injured. Koncz later shouldered the blame saying, “I checked it. It was just an inadvertent mistake.”

Pacquiao and Top Rank released a joint statement Tuesday regarding the shoulder injury, but not the lawsuit. “A few hours before he was expected to step in the ring, when Manny’s doctors began the [treatment] process, the Nevada Commission stopped the treatment because it said it was unaware of Manny’s shoulder injury.”

Pacquiao is expected to undergo surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff and be out of action for nine to 12 months.

TIME viral

See the Mayweather-Pacquiao Fight Recreated as a Game of Punch-Out!!

"No hugs!"

The so-called fight of the century happened last weekend, but now you can relive the boxing bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in the way you’ve always dreamed of: as a game of Nintendo’s Punch-Out!!

In the video game version of the match, the Mayweather and Pacquiao avatars throw a few punches and then can’t stop hugging each other.

Mayweather won both the real and Punch-Out!! matches, but as the Nintendo referee proclaims at the end, “Meh.”

Read next: Manny Pacquiao’s Hometown Fans Dejected but Still Plan Hero’s Welcome

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

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