Today the WBC announced that Miguel Cotto was stripped of his middleweight title ahead of his fight with Canelo Alvarez this Saturday. Media sources reported this was due to his unwillingness to pay sanctioning fees to the WBC. Because Canelo has paid the fees, he will still be eligible to win the WBC title.

This puts another kink in the hopes of a unification match with Gennady Golovkin pending the outcome of the fight this Saturday. The WBC has mandated the winner face Golovkin, who is already receiving an $800k step-aside fee because he’s been the interim champion and #1 contender for some time and has been due a shot at the title himself.

Cotto and Canelo have both said they wouldn’t Golovkin fight at 160lbs- the middleweight limit, while Golovkin has said he won’t agree to a catch-weight. If the winner doesn’t agree to a fight with Golovkin the WBC has emphatically stated that the boxer would then be stripped and Golovkin elevated to “full champion”.

If Cotto had no intention of facing Triple G and had expected to be stripped following his fight this Saturday, assuming he wins, then it makes sense for Cotto to not want to pony up the dough. Canelo, for his part did pay the fees because even if he’s stripped at a later date, should he beat Cotto, he would have won his first middleweight title, and been crowned champion following his hypothetical win.

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