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Cotto refused to pay $300K to WBC, says Rafael

cotto5By Dan Ambrose: Miguel Cotto was stripped of his WBC middleweight title earlier today for failing to abide by an agreement that he had with the sanctioning body. According to Dan Rafael, the World Boxing Council specifically stripped the 35-year-old Cotto for his failure to pay $300,000 in sanctioning fees in order for him to keep the WBC title.

Rafael says that #1 WBC mandatory challenger Gennady Golovkin was paid $800,000 for a step aside fee so that Cotto could fight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez this Saturday night on HBO pay-per-view. However, when Cotto was faced with paying an additional $300,000 to the WBC for the sanctioning fee, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back, according to Rafael.

It would have been prohibitive for Cotto to pay the extra $300K to keep the WBC title.

Cotto is still the lineal champion due to his win over the 40-year-old former WBC champion Sergio Martinez last year. With Cotto losing the WBC title, it will still be available for Canelo to win, but it doesn’t look like he wants it either due to the huge burden that comes with it. Canelo would have to defend the title in early 2016 against Gennady Golovkin, and he would rather not do that.

“Cotto, who was willing to pay as six-figure fee, felt $300,000 was too steep,” Rafael said via

The WBC gave Cotto a deadline of Monday night for him to pay the $300K for the sanctioning fee. Cotto was even in contact with WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman to discuss the matter, says Rafael.

The WBC said this about Cotto being stripped of his 160lb title:

“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.”

In the big scheme of things, it probably doesn’t matter all that much that the WBC title won’t be in Cotto’s possession on Saturday night. The casual boxing fans won’t likely have a clue about the title not being in Cotto’s possession any longer, and I don’t think the hardcore boxing fans will care much. The fans just want to see a good fight. The knowledgeable fans aren’t under any belief that the Cotto-Canelo fight is involving the real champion in the 160lb division. It’s a fight that more or less would have decided an opponent to potentially face the real middleweight champion in Gennady Golovkin. It’s more of eliminator fight than a championship fight in my view. The thing is neither of these guys has expressed any desire to get inside the ring with Golovkin, so the WBC wasn’t really needed for the belt. Canelo doesn’t appear to want it, and Cotto obviously doesn’t value it enough to pay an additional $300K to keep it.

The important thing for the Cotto-Canelo fight is for the winner of the fight to keep moving forward to bigger fights. Canelo has options of big money fights against Manny Pacquiao, Tim Bradley or David Lemieux. If Cotto wins, he can fight the other middleweight champions or maybe even Floyd Mayweather Jr. if he stages a comeback.

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