Demetrius Andrade, who hasn't fought in 14-months, has officially been stripped of his WBO junior middleweight title as of Friday. A couple of weeks ago, the WBO informed Andrade that he was in danger of being stripped of his title due to his inactivity unless he could show adequate cause why he shouldn't be - and apparently he couldn't. I covered much of the backstory as to why Andrade hasn't fought in over a year just a few days ago, a story which has resulted in Andrade's promoters suing Roc Nation Sports for eight figures.
"It's disheartening that the WBO had to strip him with all the things going on and everything that has happened in the last six months," promoter Artie Pelullo told ESPN.com. "It's directly related to the things outlined in the lawsuit with Roc Nation, which is why he's been so inactive. It's unfortunate, but our job will be to get him another title fight, and that's what we will do."
In the WBO's ruling, they stated that they gave consideration to the circumstances outlined in the lawsuit against Roc Nation, but said "we are not moved to consider the reasons contained therein to constitute 'just cause' for Mr. Andrade's failure to comply with our regulations of world championship contests...The WBO has been more than lenient with Mr. Andrade, but he has clearly been inactive" and Andrade "has defended his title only once -- against Brian Rose -- since first obtaining it 19 months ago."
So, although the WBO acknowledged in its ruling that Andrade has the potential to be a champion for a long time, they are bound to abide by their own rules - even if Andrade has been misadvised during his title reign. WBO rules state that they have the unilateral discretion to strip any of their titleholders who haven't defended within a 9-month period. And now it's back to the drawing board for Andrade.