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Mickey Bey vacates IBF lightweight title

Mickey Bey won his belt in controversy, never defended it, and now has vacated.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Mickey Bey has chosen to vacate the IBF lightweight title rather than go to Macau to make his mandatory defense on July 18, having never defended the belt he controversially won from Miguel Vazquez last September.

Bey (21-1-1, 10 KO) at first had a deal in place to face Denis Shafikov earlier this year, but when he passed on the date proposed by Mayweather Promotions, his team reportedly grew frustrated, and allowed Top Rank to very cheaply win a purse bid for the bout. Bey vacating rather than travel to Macau for low money is not really a surprise, and in pure business terms, it's hard to blame him for his decision.

The 31-year-old Bey's win over Vazquez, which took place on the Mayweather-Maidana II undercard, was widely considered a robbery. What Bey will do next is anyone's guess. He's got the right team to get him back into a meaningful fight, but the division is light on names, and Bey without the belt isn't really much of an attraction for other fighters.

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