If boxing’s No.1 superstar fighter Floyd Mayweather Jr. (48-0, 26 KOs) wants to retain his WBO 147lb title he won off of Filipino Manny Pacquiao last May, then Mayweather will have to fork over $200,000 to the WBO, and give up both of his junior middleweight titles – WBA and WBC. All this has to be done by this Friday or else Mayweather will be stripped of his WBO strap.
I’m not sure that Mayweather is going to grant the WBO their wish because it’s a trinket that Mayweather would be giving up anyway after his next fight in September if he’s serious about wanting to retire at that point.
Mayweather would still have the WBA and WBC 147lb titles and still be recognized as by far the best fighter in the welterweight division if the WBO goes ahead and strips him of his WBO title.
“I have been in touch with the WBO today. He has until 4:30 pm ET on Friday to comply with the WBO or he will be stripped, which is what I think is what will happen,” Dan Rafael said on his chat at ESPN.com on Thursday.
The person who will benefit from Mayweather being stripped of his title is interim WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (32-1-1, 12 KOs), who recently picked up the WBO interim 147lb title last Saturday night in beating Jessie Vargas (26-1, 9 KOs) by a controversial 12 round decision in a fight in which referee Pat Russell stopped the fight shortly after Vargas hurt Bradley and had him out on his feet. Russell thought the final bell had rung, so he separated the two fighters and put an end to the fight prematurely.
If Bradley becomes the full WBO welterweight title, it will help his chances of getting a third fight against Manny Pacquiao. That’s what Bradley wants, and it might be a direction that Top Rank promoter Bob Arum heads in if Mayweather decides he doesn’t want to fight Pacquiao again.
Arum’s only other option in terms of in house Top Rank fights that he can make is to match Pacquiao against Terence Crawford. Arum will likely push hard to make that fight, even though it probably won’t do very well as far pay-per-views. You’ve got to figure that Pacquiao-Bradley 3 would do much better than Pacquiao-Crawford.
It’s not that Pacquiao vs. Crawford wouldn’t be a good fight. It’s just that the casual fans don’t know who Crawford is in the United States. The hardcore fans, of course, know who Crawford is and half a great deal of respect for him, but it’s the casual fans who make or break Pacquiao’s PPV fights.
There aren’t enough hardcore fans in America to make a Pacquiao vs. Crawford fight a huge success. That’s why it would be in Pacquiao’s best interest to reject the Crawford fight if Arum tries to get him to take that fight. But Pacquiao is loyal to Arum, so he’ll probably fight Crawford even though it will work against his bottom line financially.
Bradley, with the WBO 147 title now his, will likely be facing his WBO mandatory challenger Sadam Ali next. Arum wants to stage the fight in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, which means he’s going to likely get a huge site fee if he stages it there.
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