Cotto hints he’ll vacate title if WBC forces Golovkin fight

By Boxing News - 06/01/2015 - Comments

1-CottoBy Dan Ambrose: The World Boxing Council had better think twice about trying to force WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (39-4, 32 KOs) into facing someone like Gennady Golokvin, his WBC mandatory challenger, because Cotto says he’ll save his three percent from the sanctioning fees he gives the WBC and go ahead and face the guys he wants to face.

Cotto would vacate the WBC title if they push the issue of trying to force him to face the guys they want him to face instead of the fighters he prefers.

“If the WBC is the one to determine who they think I should face then I’ll simply save myself the 3% and just fight and do what I want,” Cotto said to Fighthype. “I will do what I have to do to benefit my career and my family.”

It doesn’t sound like Cotto is ready to toe the line for what the WBC wants him to do. Thus far, Cotto is doing what he’s supposed to do in taking a voluntary defense against Daniel Geale (31-3, 16 KOs) this Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The WBC is on board with Cotto facing Saul “Canelo” Alvarez next later this year, even though Golovkin is the guy that Cotto is supposed to be fighting after the Geale fight.

Where Cotto will start veering away from what the WBC wants him to do is when/if he decides not to face Golovkin next year. If Cotto continues to hold onto his WBC middleweight title, but chooses not to face his WBC mandatory challenger in Golovkin, then it puts the WBC in a position where they can either act to strip Cotto for failing to fight his mandatory or they can simply let Cotto “fight and do what I want.” It’ll look bad for the WBC if Cotto does what he wants to and fights whoever he pleases while holding onto the WBC middleweight title, because it would kind of defeat the purpose of having a champion who faces his mandatory challengers. If the WBC champion can fight whoever he pleases, it puts the WBC in a bad light potentially.

The WBC can give Cotto some breathing room if they make Canelo his WBC 160lb mandatory challenger, but that would be kind of tough without the WBC stripping Golovkin, the WBC interim middleweight champion, and moving Canelo ahead of him. Canelo doesn’t technically fight in the middleweight division, although his last three fights have taken place at middleweight at a catch-weight of 155 pounds. But if the WBC does count the Cotto-Canelo fight as Cotto facing a mandatory, then Cotto can definitely fight whoever he wants for the next two fights in facing voluntary challengers. But Golovkin would still be waiting after those two fights are up for his title shot at the WBC 160lb belt. The WBC would need to let him get that title shot because it would look really bad if they inserted another guy in front of him that Cotto was willing to face.

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