Lineal middleweight world champion Miguel Cotto said Tuesday that he did not care that the WBC stripped him of its middleweight belt four days before he was to defend his title against former unified junior middleweight titleholder Canelo Alvarez in the year's biggest fight, other than Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao.
"I am not disappointed by the WBC's decision. It was all about money," Cotto said during his grand arrival at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, where the fight will take place Saturday (HBO PPV, 9 ET).
The WBC was seeking $300,000 in sanctioning fees from each fighter, not to mention another $25,000 apiece from their promoters, Roc Nation Sports and Golden Boy Promotions, to recognize the title fight.
Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) agreed to pay the fee and can claim the vacant title if he wins, but Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs), still the lineal champion, tried to negotiate a lower fee.
The WBC, which declined to detail its reason for stripping Cotto, other than to say he did not comply with the organization's rules and regulations, declined to negotiate, even though that has been the organization's norm for really big fights such as Cotto-Alvarez, as well as bouts involving Oscar De La Hoya, Mayweather and Pacquiao.
When WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman and Cotto could not come to an agreement on the fee in a Monday night telephone call, Cotto was stripped of the title.
If Alvarez wins, he will claim the belt and the lineal title. If Cotto wins, he remains lineal champion, but WBC interim titleholder Gennady Golovkin will be promoted to full titlist.
"The fee for this fight was absurd to me, and I prefer to keep the money in my account," said Cotto, who was upset by critical remarks about his decision by Golden Boy promoter De La Hoya, who represents Alvarez. "I don't need to pay attention to Oscar De La Hoya's opinion. He should take care of his own business, and I will take care of mine. I don't stick my nose in Oscar's business."
Cotto went on to further criticize boxing's sanctioning organizations for their greed.
"The organization wants four champions in every division just to earn a percentage from everybody, and then we have to pay for their mistakes," Cotto said. "This is not fair to me. The WBC told me my offer was not reasonable to them. They told me I was not going to be their champion anymore. I don't need their belt."
Cotto, the first Puerto Rican boxer to win world titles in four weight classes -- junior welterweight, welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight -- said he has plenty of belts.
"I have enough belts in my house. And with the money I saved, I can buy any belt I want," he said. "And I can be the champion of whatever I want in my house."