Chris Algieri got surprising news after the WBO convention this past weekend in Las Vegas. The organization whose 140 lb. belt he won from Ruslan Provodnikov this past July is forcing him to vacate his title.
It’s a surprising move by the WBO because Algieri Is fighting for the 147 lb. WBO title against Manny Pacquiao later this month at a catch weight of 144. Algieri doesn’t have a mandatory yet and hasn’t made a defense of the title either, so it’s a very controversial move by the WBO.
Some insiders believe that because Manny Pacquiao has mentioned moving down to 140, that the WBO is trying to make sure they still get a piece of the second biggest draw in the United States. Usually fighters who get high profile fights are given extra time to defend their title, especially if the bout is against one boxing’s cash cows.
Also you must wonder if it was Manny Pacquiao who held the 140 lb. title and was to move up to 147 for a title fight, would the WBO have taken such recourse? Pacquiao did the same thing when he won the 147 WBO title from Miguel Cotto in 2009 and went to fight for the WBC 154 lb. title at a catch weight of 150 in 2010. He beat Margarito and ultimately vacated the WBC title and returned to being the 147 lb. WBO title.
Floyd Mayweather himself holds the 147 and 154 lb. versions of WBC title and was allowed to defend both this past September against Marcos Maidana. While their two different organizations, the trend is to appease the cash cow. With that defense of both his titles, he was allowed to keep both titles without having to face a mandatory or being stripped of either title.
In boxing it’s all about the dollars, so if Pacquiao decides to move down, he’ll likely fight for the vacant 140 lb. WBO title and the WBO can get a much larger sanctioning fee from Pacquiao than Algieri, its pretty simple.