Miguel Cotto was stripped of his WBC middleweight title belt Tuesday, only four days before his fight against former unified middleweight titlist Canelo Alvarez.
The belt was taken because Cotto refused to pay the WBC a $300,000 sanctioning fee, according to ESPN's Dan Rafael.
Cotto technically remains the lineal champion, a title he would retain if he defeats Alvarez on Saturday in Las Vegas. However, in that case the belt would remain vacant. Should Alvarez win, he would claim the belt and the title of lineal champ.
Cotto, 35, is 40-4 with 33 KOs. Alvarez, 25, is 45-1-1 with 32 KOs.