THE WBC has decided to strip Miguel Cotto of their middleweight title, only four days before he was due to defend it against Saul Alvarez in Las Vegas.

The fight had been agreed, admittedly at an 155lbs catchweight, for November 21 at the Mandalay Bay, pitting two of the sports biggest names against one another for the WBC crown. But, in a baffling move, today (November 17) the WBC has decided to remove recognition from Miguel Cotto as their world champion. Even though Cotto won’t be able to defend his title on Saturday, Alvarez will be recognized as their middleweight champion, should he beat Cotto.

The WBC have made the move because Cotto appears to have not conformed to their rules and regulations. However in their latest statement on the matter the WBC did not divulge what the rule violation was.

Here is their statement in full:

The World Boxing Council worked tirelessly through a process that began over two years ago to secure the celebration of the highly anticipated fight between Miguel Cotto and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.  The WBC is proud of that accomplishment that is giving boxing fans around the world a very important fight to see.
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.

The WBC hereby announces that effective immediately has withdrawn recognition of Miguel Cotto as WBC World Middleweight Champion. If Saul “Canelo” Alvarez wins the fight against Cotto, he will be recognized as the WBC middleweight world champion.

The WBC’s decision is premised on the fact that Miguel Cotto and his camp are not willing to abide by the governing WBC Rules & Regulations, and the specific conditions the WBC established to sanction the fight.  Simply put: they are not willing to respect the very same rules and conditions which applied to Cotto becoming WBC champion. The WBC wishes Miguel Cotto the best of luck as we truly regret the course of action which led to them taking such decision.

The WBC is a non-profit governing organization founded 53 years ago.  The WBC has implemented all of the current rules in the sport, paving the way to much safer boxing.  The WBC creates, implements and enforces, its Rules & Regulations to bring safety, order, unity, justice and equality to a sport that was marred with abuse and unfairness.  Since the first day of existence of our organization, the WBC has taken countless actions for the protection of the boxer and it is a fact that most if not all boxers dream of conquering the green belt.

The WBC stands by its honorability and will not participate in the abuse of power and greediness, which has taken our boxing world to regrettable actions from different parties.  The WBC wishes the promotion great success and we are satisfied that this great fight for boxing will be enjoyed by millions of fans around the world.