The World Boxing Council has stripped Miguel Cotto (40–4, 33 knockouts) of his middleweight belt on Tuesday for noncompliance with the organization's rules and regulations.
Cotto is slated to fight Canelo Alvarez (45–1–1, 32 knockouts) in Las Vegas on Saturday.
The WBC issued the following statement:
“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.”
Cotto reportedly did not want to pay $300,000 sanctioning fees to the WBC to allow him to fight Alvarez, according to ESPN.com's Dan Rafael. In addition, the WBC wanted $25,000 from each promoter and Cotto wanted to negotiate to lower the fee. The WBC refused.
Alvarez wins Saturday's fight, he will claim the vacant WBC belt and dethrone Cotto as the lineal champion because Alvarez paid the sanctioning fee. A Cotto victory would make Gennady Golovkin the full WBC titlist. Cotto would remain the lineal champion.
Gennady Golovkin was paid $800,000 to bypass his match against Cotto, which he was slated to face as the interim WBC middleweight title holder.