Defiant Cotto unconcerned by losing belt ahead of Alvarez bout


Miguel Cotto faces Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez in a WBC Middleweight title fight knowing he will not be holding the belt at the end of Saturday's bout regardless of the result in Las Vegas.

Cotto was stripped of the belt on Tuesday by the WBC after the Puerto Rican refused to pay the $300,000 sanctioning fee ahead of the fight at Mandalay Bay.

The fight, one of most eagerly anticipated of the year, is still going ahead despite Cotto's infraction, but only Alvarez can win the belt.

Indeed, should Cotto triumph, then the title will be handed to interim champion and mandatory challenger Gennady Golovkin, who reportedly agreed to step aside to allow the bout to take place.

Cotto - unbeaten since losing to Austin Trout by unanimous decision back in 2012 - does not appear affected by the loss of his title.

"I am not disappointed by the WBC's decision. It was all about money," Cotto said. "The fee for this fight was absurd to me, and I prefer to keep the money in my account.

"The organisation wants four champions in every division just to earn a percentage from everybody, and then we have to pay for their mistakes.

"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.

"I have enough belts in my house. And with the money I saved, I can buy any belt I want. And I can be the champion of whatever I want in my house."

The Mexican was also quoted by as saying: "The fight sells by itself and everybody knows what to expect from Saul and me.

"I work my a** off everyday with Freddie [Roach] and I know I have everything to beat Canelo on my side."

Should Alvarez emerge victorious then he will need to enter into negotiations with Golovkin.

But, Alvarez, whose only professional loss came at the hands of the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. last September, is not looking beyond the bout with Cotto.

"My focus is winning this fight - it's very important," Alvarez said. "Whatever happens after this fight, will happen after this fight, but this is my primary focus.

"Once it's over, we will determine which direction we will go. This is a very difficult, 50-50 fight. I'm here, I'm ready to win, and I'm willing to win. All my fights are necessary to win."