The manager of Timothy Bradley said the fighter is considering legal action against the WBC for stripping him of his status as the organization's junior welterweight titleholder, this in order to sanction the winner of a bout between Erik Morales and Jorge Barrios as the new champion.
"What the WBC is doing is wrong,” said Cameron Dunkin said on Friday. "I don't know what legal recourse we have, but I'll leave that up to the lawyers to answer that question. But this is wrong. They don't have any right to strip him. It hasn't been six months yet. He has no mandatory.
“He'd gladly fight Morales next week. All they would have to do is order a purse bid, and we would fight Morales in a heartbeat."
Meanwhile, Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker Eric Gomez, who is trying to finalize Morales-Barrios, said on Friday that he isn't convinced the WBC's decision is final because he has yet to receive formal documentation.
"We're still waiting for the paperwork,” Gomez said. “Normally, when they order a title like that, they'll send a letter saying they're sanctioning it and to get the fight done. But we haven't received anything from the WBC. There's a lot of speculation. They've contacted us and told us most likely what the scenario is, but they're not stripping Bradley.
"Yeah, we've had conversations and we know mostly what's going to happen, but we can't really do much unless we get it in writing. They never said that they're stripping him, so there are a lot of rumors out there. They're basically telling him, ‘You know what? You're going to be champion in recess until you get your situation worked out.’"
But WBC Secretary General Mauricio Sulaiman on Friday seemed to be clear when he said Bradley no longer owns the WBC's 140-pound belt, arguing that the move to declare him a "champion in recess" is a valid one.
"We have been very busy on Facebook and Twitter, and some media is being critical of the decision and blasting the Morales-Barrios fight," said Sulaiman. "But that's their prerogative. We are convinced that this is a formidable fight, and it can only be good for boxing."
Bradley already was the WBO titleholder in January when he defeated Devon Alexander by an 11th-round technical decision to win the WBC title.
Bradley hasn’t fought since that bout. He turned down a title-unification fight with Amir Khan on July 23. As a result, Bradley has been sued by co-promoters Gary Shaw and Thompson Boxing Promotions, who are seeking lost earnings.
"Tim has been inactive for about six months, has no schedule, and has legal problems. So I don't think that there will be any change in the status that could make the decision that the WBC took to be regarded as the wrong decision," said Sulaiman.
"We have been waiting for a response from Timothy Bradley for some time, and we have not had any communication from his team, so I think that the scenario is completely clear."
Morales-Barrios is on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Victor Ortiz pay-per-view card Sept. 17 in Las Vegas.
Sulaiman said that there is nothing Bradley can do to change the organization's stance prior to Morales-Barrios, but he’ll have options after the fight.
If Bradley's legal problems are resolved, for example, he can immediately challenge the Morales-Barrios winner, said Sulaiman.
"If he communicates to the WBC a desire to fight for the title, and he has no legal disputes that can prohibit that, then he has his right to do that, of course. But Tim Bradley has even said that he wants to move up in weight," said Sulaiman.
"So this is among the circumstances that drove the situation. But the key here is that Timothy has not been abandoned by the WBC. He has rights that he can use when he's ready to come back to the ring."
Gomez said that Golden Boy still has a contract with Anthony Crolla of England, who will fight on the card. He would replace Barrios in case it turns Morales’ fight is not for a the WBC title.
"Crolla is still on the card," said Gomez. "Just in case there are any problems, and the fight ends up not being for the title, then Crolla's our backup plan against Morales."