Timothy Bradley Jr. has just relinquished his WBO welterweight world title as he will be unable to make his mandatory title defense against Sadam Ali. Bradley had been obligated to defend the belt against Ali but instead opted to face Manny Pacquiao in a third installment, which is obviously a much higher profile fight for bigger money.
In a letter from Bradley written to WBO president Paco Valcarcel, Bradley stated:
"As you know I will be fighting Manny Pacquiao on April 9, 2016 in Las Vegas, NV," Bradley wrote. "To accept this fight invariably means I cannot comply with my mandatory obligation and must forgo the mandatory against Sadam Ali, as ordered by the WBO. This is a difficult decision, but one I have to make to give fans the best fights as well as allow myself the toughest and biggest fights possible from both a competitive and financial perspective."
Vacarcel acknowledged Bradley's decision and responded by saying:
"Do know that we wholly understand your decision and commend you for always giving fans the best fights possible and doing what is best for your career at this important juncture," Valcarcel wrote. "You have been an outstanding, honorable and loyal WBO junior welterweight and welterweight champion of the world and the doors of the WBO will always be open for you."
Valcarcel also let Bradley know that the WBO would be preparing a "special recognition" for the winner of Pacquiao-Bradley III (a specially designed belt perhaps?).
Sadam Ali (22-0, 13 KOs) will now be facing Jessie Vargas (26-1, 9 KOs) for the vacant title on March 5th on HBO, on the undercard of Luis Ortiz-Tony Thompson.