Northern Irishman Carl Frampton has been stripped of his WBA world super-bantamweight title after failing to hold talks with first defence Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Frampton overcame bitter rival Scott Quigg in a unification match, to hold both the WBA and IBF belts. However, the 29-year-old did not respond to the association's request, as he considers a move up to the featherweight division.
The WBA had make contact with the Northern Irishman just two days after his victory over Quigg, while the IBF want Frampton to enter talks with Shingo Wake.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay4
"In light of Frampton's announced intention to face an opponent other than his mandatory, and for failing to respond to WBA inquiries as to his intent, Frampton's recognition as champion is removed." said WBA Championships chairman Gilberto Jesus Mendoza.
"Rigondeux shall come out of recess and face interim champion Moises Flores as his mandatory defence on or before August 1, 2016. If Flores or Rigondeaux wish to face any other opponent, the WBA may consider an application for special permit consistent with the rules of the WBA."
It took a points win at the back end of February to unify the titles, but Frampton is now looking to challenge himself at featherweight level, with more lucrative fights on offer.
IBF world featherweight Lee Selby (22-1-KO8) is seen as a big challenge for the Belfast-born fighter, while WBA world featherweight Leo Santa Cruz (32-0-1- KO18) would be equally as tough for the Irishman, should he officially make the move to the featherweight division.
Rigondeaux has been a fight that Frampton has been keen to avoid, as the Cuban warrior has yet to lose a fight, while bigger pay days are on offer for IBF world super-bantamweight, elsewhere.
And it is also understood that Frampton had no intention of fighting the 35-year-old, when the fight contract was agreed between himself and Quigg.
Meanwhile, a bout with Santa Cruz could be in contention, and it is understood it would be agreed over two legs: first in Belfast and then at Madison Square Garden - helping to seal Frampton's reputation in America.
Will Carl Frampton be a success at featherweight level? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms