Miguel Cotto responds to WBC’s title stripping, Oscar De La Hoya
LAS VEGAS – Just days before Miguel Cotto was to defend his WBC, lineal and RING magazine middleweight titles against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, the World Boxing Council (WBC) dropped a bombshell by stripping the Puerto Rican veteran of their title.
And when reports surfaced that Cotto was relieved of the title after his refusal to pay the sanctioning fees that amounted to $300,000 — in addition to the $800,000 Cotto reportedly had to pay for Gennady Golovkin to step aside — Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya was not pleased.
“It’s a disgrace to the promotion,” De La Hoya told reporters during the grand arrivals of both fighters at the Mandalay Bay. “Every fighter dreams of fighting for the WBC middleweight championship and to do something like that is a disgrace.”
But when Cotto was told what De La Hoya said about him, the four-division champion, who is not known to engage in verbal sparring matches, pulled no punches.
“Ask Oscar to give $1.1 million to the WBC and wait for an answer,” Cotto told RingTV.com when asked about De La Hoya’s comments. One might suggest that the amount that Cotto would have to pay in order to remain champion is a tad outrageous. Cotto says he spoke to WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman earlier this week about the fees he would have to pay and was not happy with the amount the WBC came back with.
“(Sulaiman) waited until the last minute to tell me the amount to put pressure on us to pay it,” Cotto said. “Including the $800,000 I had to pay for Golovkin to step aside, I would have paid $125,000. That’s a reasonable number for me. But he said no and I wouldn’t be their champion anymore. That’s alright. I don’t need their belt. I have enough belts in my house. With $1.1 million I can buy any belt that I want and be champion of whatever I want in my house.”
The usually stoic Cotto was visibly annoyed by how this all transpired and wasn’t pleased that he was being stripped of the title less than a week before his highly anticipated showdown with Canelo. But Cotto believes that this fight doesn’t need a world title on the line as fight fans just want to see these two throw down.
“I don’t need a title,” he continued. “The fight sells by itself and everybody knows what to expect from Saul and me. I work my ass off everyday with Freddie (Roach) and I know I have everything to beat Canelo on my side.”