LOS ANGELES: Miguel Cotto was stripped of his World Boxing Council middleweight world title on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila), days before his anticipated bout against Mexican Saul Alvarez in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Amid reports that Cotto declined to pay the $300,000 sanctioning fee for a title fight, the WBC said in a statement only that the Puerto Rican and his camp failed to comply with WBC regulations.
“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 sanctioning body said.
“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 (Roc Nation Sports) did not agree to comply with the WBC rules and regulations, while Saul 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 The WBC hereby announces that effective immediately it has withdrawn recognition of Miguel Cotto as WBC world middleweight champion.”
Cotto, winner of world titles in four weight divisions, is still considered the lineal champion.
The 34-year-old takes a record of 40-4 with 33 knockouts into the bout against Alvarez — who can still claim the vacant title with a victory on Saturday.
Alvarez, 25, has won 45 of his 47 fights, 32 by knockout with one draw and one defeat — to American Floyd Mayweather on points in September of 2013.