It is just four days before Miguel Cotto is set to take on Canelo Alvarez and the WBC has announced that it is stripping Cotto of their Middle Weight Championship. They sited a violation of Rules & Regulations as their reasoning. However, ESPN’s Dan Raphael more specifically tweeted “Cotto stripped of WBC belt over $300k sanction fee.”
I don’t know about the rest of the boxing world but this sounds like a strategic move. Cotto has shown no interest in making a fight with Gennady Golovkin, whom the WBC named as the mandatory challenger for the winner of the Cotto-Canelo fight this Saturday. So, by not paying the sanction fees, he avoids the possible mandatory fight with Golovkin. He also saves face from vacating the belt and looking afraid of taking on Golovkin. With all of that being said, Cotto is an elite fighter and never shown signs of ducking anyone before. Cotto has said in the past that he isn’t a middleweight, so maybe he decided to give up his title and go back down to junior middle.
The only one who knows for sure is Miguel Cotto. These days boxing is more of a business than a sport, so it’s anyone’s guess. Here is the official statement made by the WBC.
“The World Boxing Council worked tirelessly through a process that began over two years ago to secure the celebration of the highly anticipated fight between Miguel Cotto and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The WBC is proud of that accomplishment that is giving boxing fans around the world a very important fight to see.
After several weeks of communications, countless attempts and good faith time extensions trying to preserve the fight as a WBC World Championship, Miguel Cotto and his promotion did not agree to comply with the WBC Rules & Regulations, while Saúl Alvarez has agreed to do so. Accordingly, the WBC must rule on the matter prior to the fight.
The WBC hereby announces that effective immediately has withdrawn recognition of Miguel Cotto as WBC World Middleweight Champion. If Saul “Canelo” Alvarez wins the fight against Cotto, he will be recognized as the WBC middleweight world champion.
The WBC’s decision is premised on the fact that Miguel Cotto and his camp are not willing to abide by the governing WBC Rules & Regulations, and the specific conditions the WBC established to sanction the fight. Simply put: they are not willing to respect the very same rules and conditions which applied to Cotto becoming WBC champion. The WBC wishes Miguel Cotto the best of luck as we truly regret the course of action which led to them taking such decision.
The WBC is a non-profit governing organization founded 53 years ago. The WBC has implemented all of the current rules in the sport, paving the way to a much safer boxing. The WBC creates, implements and enforces, its Rules & Regulations to bring safety, order, unity, justice and equality to a sport that was marred with abuse and unfairness. Since the first day of existence of our organization, the WBC has taken countless actions for the protection of the boxer and it is a fact that most if not all boxers dream of conquering the green belt.
The WBC stands by its honorability and will not participate in the abuse of power and greediness, which has taken our boxing world to regrettable actions from different parties. The WBC wishes the promotion great success and we are satisfied that this great fight for boxing will be enjoyed by millions of fans around the world.”