Austin Trout is a busy man both inside the ring and out. while preparing to fight Jarrett Hurd for the IBF super welterweight title on October 14th, “No Doubt” has filed suit against the WBO for allegedly removing him from their rankings without reason. He seeks $40 million in restitution.
Trout was ranked #4 by the WBO when champion Demetrius Andrade was stripped due to inactivity. #1 Canelo Alvarez, #2 Miguel Cotto, and #3 Michel Soro were all otherwise occupied, but the sanctioning body put together Liam Smith vs. John Thompson for the vacant strap while casting Trout from the rankings.
WBO president Paco Valcárcel spoke with El Vocero in his defense. If I’m reading this correctly, he claims that Trout had signed on to fight Joey Hernández and was thus unable to fight Smith for the vacant title. Both Trout and Smith were removed from the rankings and Trout did not apply to be reinstated. That doesn’t exactly explain why he was removed in the first place.
Trout-Hernández was originally announced three days after Andrade was stripped and went down on September 8th, 2015. Smith vs. Thompson was announced three weeks after Trout-Hernández and went down on October 10th, 2015. Even if Trout’s PBC fight interfered with the WBO’s timeline, there doesn’t seem to have been any rational reason to remove him from the rankings.