On Tuesday, November 17, ESPN’s Dan Raphael reported that the WBC decided to strip Miguel Cotto of the WBC middleweight title due to Cotto’s “noncompliance with the organization’s rules and regulations.” When looking at all the factors surrounding the WBC’s decision, one could compare the WBC’s actions to a failed extortion attempt.
It’s no secret that many of the business dealings behind boxing are corrupt to the core. This decision just proves it to the public. Sanctioning bodies, like the WBC, make all sorts of decisions that impact the lives of boxers and shape the sport for better or worse. This decision is a travesty that reveals what a money making scheme sanctioning bodies are running.
In order for Miguel Cotto to defend his WBC title against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Cotto was ordered to pay Gennady Golovkin a “step-aside” fee of $800,000. Cotto and his promoter, Roc Nation, paid the fee. The WBC also wanted $25,000 from Cotto’s and Alvarez’s promotional companies. Then, the WBC wanted an additional $300,000 from both Cotto and Alvarez for sanctioning fees.
If you do the math, Alvarez’s team would have to shell out $325,000 to the WBC, while Cotto’s team would have to pay a total of 1.125 million dollars to the WBC. Ludicrous.
Yesterday at a promotional press conference, Cotto’s team live streamed the event on Facebook. At the event, Cotto stated he was willing to pay $125,000 in sanctioning fees, but that wasn’t good enough for the WBC.
I understand that the WBC has its rules and regulations, but to spring a $300,000 sanctioning fee on Cotto’s team five days before he is set to defend his title looks a lot like extortion. They already secured money from Cotto’s team for this fight to happen, but it looks like they got greedy by demanding such a hefty fee.
Since he is no longer fighting to defend his title, the WBC should refund Cotto’s team the $800,000 he paid Golovkin to have the opportunity to defend his title against Alvarez, but I’m willing to bet he will never see that money. In essence, Cotto forked over $800,000 just to have his title revoked. Welcome to the corruption of boxing.
I applaud Miguel Cotto in taking a stand against the WBC. He’s proven to me that he doesn’t need a belt to be considered a champion.