Andre Ward, the undefeated king of the super middleweight division, has made the decision to drop his WBC 'Champion Emeritus' title after disagreeing with the sanctioning body about the validity of their stripping him of the 168-pound title in the first place.
Ward, 29, was "moved" to the Emeritus title earlier this year, despite the obvious fact that he was well within the time usually allotted to defend his title against a mandatory challenger. He has been inactive this year after undergoing shoulder surgery, which canceled a fight with Kelly Pavlik.
By comparison, Vitali Klitschko, the WBC heavyweight champ, has not fought since the exact same date as Ward (September 8, 2012), and also has not made any firm indication that he's got a fight in the works. Klitschko has been considering retirement, even. Yet he has not been stripped of his title.
Here's a piece of what Ward said about his decision:
"Without what we feel was appropriate due process, the WBC elected to strip me of my World Title. I think my track record in fighting the best opponents available speaks for itself. I worked extremely hard and dedicated my entire career to win and defend my WBC belt. As a matter of principle, I have chosen to stand up for what I believe is right. I think the fans know and appreciate that I am the Super Middleweight Champion of the World, and I trust that I will continue to be recognized as such."
Ward (26-0, 14 KO) is expected to fight sometime later this year, perhaps in the fall, and it seems would have been able to return before a full year out of the ring. He still holds the WBA "super" super middleweight title.