light heavyweight champion Jurgen Braehmer was stripped of this title after he was unable to defend his belt against interim champ Nathan Cleverly, and also because he has defended the crown just once in the past two years.
On the same day, the International Boxing Federation took its super featherweight crown away from Mzonke Fana, who failed to comply with his mandatory defense against Argenes Mendez.
Braehmer (36-2, 29 knockouts) withdrew from his scheduled defense against Cleverly (21-0, 10 KOs) after suffering a cut during training. Cleverly, already the WBO's interim champion, inherited the title.
Braehmer was replaced on the card by Tony Bellew, who failed to make weight during Thursday's weight check. Instead, Cleverly will fight the WBO's No. 11 contender, Aleksy Kuziemski (21-2, 5 KOs) in Saturday night's main event at the 02 Arena in Greenwich, London, England.
Braehmer won an interim version of the WBO title in 2009 with an 11th-round TKO of Kuziemski, then defended it against Dmitriy Sukhotsky later that year, and against Mariano Nicolas Plotinsky in 2010.
Fana (30-4, 12 KOs) won the vacant IBF super featherweight title in September by outpointing Cassius Baloyi in his native South Africa.
Mendez (18-1, 9 KOs) also fought Baloyi, beating him in a title eliminator in January to set up a June 11 showdown with Fana, but that one fell apart when Fana failed to sign the contract.
Dennis Taylor is editor/publisher of www.ringsideboxingshow.com and co-host of The Ringside Boxing Show