Editor’s view: Cotto sidesteps Golovkin by defaulting on WBC belt

Phil Jay 17/11/2015

Four-weight world champion Miguel Cotto has effectively ruled himself out of a fight with Gennady Golokvin should the Puerto Rican come through his clash with Canelo Alvarez this weekend.

Cotto was stripped of his middleweight title this week by the World Boxing Council just days prior to his scheduled defense against Canelo in Las Vegas after failing to fully comply with the rules and regulations of the organisation.

The famous green belt will now only be on the line for the Mexican when the pair lock horns at the Mandalay Bay and it looks increasingly likely that Cotto, 35, will be heading back down to 154 pounds or retiring once the fight is over.

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman fought long and hard to help put Cotto and Canelo in the same ring and was licking his lips – along with the rest of boxing, at the prospect of the winner fighting mandatory challenger Golovkin next year.

As it turns out, ‘Junito’ goes into the high-profile Nevada contest without a title in his possession following the WBC’s shock decision to act – and only Canelo can walk away with the gold once the final bell tolls.

All this means Cotto is under no obligation whatsoever to meet Golovkin in 2016 and can make his own decision as to where he goes after his upcoming fight.

Whether Canelo decides to keep the 160 championship – on the other hand – and face Golovkin should his arm be raised on Saturday night, it could be a different story as the 25 year-old is known to be bigger at the limit and may want to accept the challenge.

Canelo weighed 160.2lbs with just seven days remaining until fight night for the 155lb bout, and although the higher weight would mean a more relaxed build-up, opposing the most fearsome puncher on the planet is a big risk for anybody moving up…just ask Miguel Cotto.