The World Boxing Council (WBC) have stripped champion Miguel Cotto of their middleweight title overnight for miscompliance of their sanctioning guidelines.
The WBC released a statement saying that Cotto would no longer be recognised as champion as a result of failing to adhere to their rules and regulations, but did not specify how. Should his next opponent, Saúl "Canelo" Álvarez, win the fight he will be awarded the now vacant WBC crown.
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. - WBC
According to ESPN, the Puerto Rican superstar had refused to pay the WBC the $300K sanctioning fee for his scheduled bout with Canelo Alvarez, thus leaving the WBC with no option but to remove him as the 160 pound champion of their organisation.
At this stage, Cotto's fight with Álvarez will still go ahead. However Cotto has blasted the WBC, suggesting the fees are unrealistic and unfair, not only to himself but other champion fighters who would also have to front the championship sized fee.
The organisation wants four champions in every division just to earn a percentage from everybody... The fee for this fight was absurd to me. And I prefer to keep the money in my account.... I can be the champion of whatever I want in my house. - Cotto in response to the WBC
Cotto isn't the first champion to refuse to pay a large sum for sanctioning a fight, with Floyd Mayweather also stripped by the World Boxing Organisation of his welterweight title after not paying a similar fee for his unanimous decision victory over Manny Pacquiao in May.
Many fans via social media have suggested that Cotto is not a proper middleweight contender, having competed at 3 different welterweight classes since 2001, but only making the move to middleweight just last year.
Miguel Cotto and Canelo Álvarez go head to head November 21st (November 22nd in Australia) in the most anticipated bout of the year since Mayweather vs Pacquiao.