Mikey Garcia vacated his junior lightweight world title on Tuesday, and interim titlist Orlando Salido was elevated to full titleholder.
Garcia, who has won world titles in two weight classes but has not fought since January because he is embroiled in a dispute with promoter Top Rank, which he is suing, was due to face Salido in a mandatory fight. But with no plans to fight anytime soon and Garcia also facing problems getting down to 130 pounds, he vacated.
Garcia sent the WBO a letter letting the organization know about his decision, according to WBO president Paco Valcarcel.
Valcarcel told ESPN.com that the organization and Garcia have been in regular contact "because he was supposed to fight Salido, as per our interim requirements. His response was that he was unable to defend it because he has trouble making weight and wished to move to 140. Finally, they asked [that] we rank him at that division."
So when Garcia (34-0, 28 KOs), 26, of Oxnard, California, eventually does return, he plans to do so at junior welterweight, meaning he will skip over the 135-pound lightweight division.
In January 2013, Garcia won an eighth-round technical decision against Salido to take his featherweight world title, and Salido has wanted a rematch.
"It's disappointing that Mickey left 130 because Orlando still believes he had unfinished business with Mickey. But he is happy to look forward to 2015 and fighting the biggest names at 130 pounds," Sean Gibbons, Salido's manager, told ESPN.com.
With Garcia on the shelf because of the promotional issues, the WBO approved Salido (42-12-2, 29 KOs), 33, of Mexico, to fight for its interim belt.
He faced Terdsak Kokietgym of Thailand on Sept. 20, and they put on a sensational slugfest that is the leading fight-of-the-year candidate. Salido got knocked down three times, but he dropped Kokietgym four times in an 11th-round knockout victory.
Garcia won the junior lightweight belt by eighth-round knockout of Roman "Rocky" Martinez in November 2013. In his only defense, Garcia won a lopsided unanimous decision against Juan Carlos Burgos on Jan. 25.