The WBC stripped Miguel Cotto of its middleweight title four days before his highly anticipated clash with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. In an official statement, the WBC said:
“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“The WBC hereby announces that effective immediately has withdrawn recognition of Miguel Cotto as WBC World Middleweight Champion.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.”
In June 2014, Cotto captured the WBC middleweight title by dethroning long-time champion Sergio Martinez. Take a look at Cotto, Martinez and WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman during happier times promoting that bout:
Although the WBC did not specifically say what rule or regulation Cotto failed to comply with, sources are saying that the Puerto Rican champion and his camp refused to pay the sanctioning fee which the WBC was asking for.
The WBC was reportedly asking for $300,000 from both Cotto and Alvarez and $25,000 from their respective promoters. However, Cotto felt “extorted” after he already shelled out $800,000 to pay Gennady Golovkin, the WBC’s mandatory challenger a “step-aside” fee so the Cotto-Canelo clash will push through.
It can be recalled that Floyd Mayweather Jr. was similarly stripped of the WBO welterweight title which he won from Manny Pacquiao after he also failed to pay the organization the stipulated sanction fee:
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