Catchweight Debate: Cotto, Golovkin, Canelo and No Middle Ground

Catchweight fights, a more frequent bone of contention in boxing than perhaps ever before.


The Cotto, Canelo and GGG circle

We have just two weeks remaining until the highly anticipated bout between Miguel Cotto (40-4-33 KO) the reigning WBC, Ring Magazine and Lineal Middleweight World Champion and the first Puerto Rican to become world champion in four different weight classes, and Mexican star Canelo Alvarez (45-1-1-32 KO), the two will finally meet on November 21st at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

For all its appeal this fight is not without its controversy and issues, namely for the continued use of a catchweight for a third consecutive time to separate the wheat from the chaff as it were, in what is in danger of becoming a diluted and devalued weight division as a consequence.

In all honesty, the lineal middleweight title has been held hostage by a light-middleweight fighter masquerading as a full middleweight on the back of two catchweight bouts and with the November 21st contest at 155 lbs making it number three, under the current WBC rules the winner will only have until the 1st of December (15 days after the fight) to accept  the mandatory stipulated fight against Gennady Golovkin, the fighter widely recognised as  the true middleweight champion.


Will the winner step up to the  plate and do the right thing in facing Golovkin at the 160lb limit afterwards? Some in the boxing world  have their doubts.

But why?

Fortunately this is only a theory, and a possible scenario or two could make an appearance from the stage yet, left to throw a potential spanner in the works.

WBC rules state currently:

“Under extreme special circumstances, such as an unification bout or a proposed bout with a legendary boxer, that could result in a great promotion, prestige, and importance for the sport of boxing, the WBC may sanction such bout as a mandatory bout. If a mandatory challenger had already been appointed by the WBC, the winner of the special bout will then face the mandatory challenger without an intervening contest.”

The hidden scenario in this. Under the extreme special circumstances”, WBC emeritus champion Floyd Mayweather could potentially be qualified to move ahead of Golovkin and face the winner of the Cotto vs Alvarez fight at 155lbs (in theory), a weight and bout both Cotto and Alvarez would be more than happy to make financially one would suspect.


Both fighters, Cotto and Alvarez have already expressed a preference for this weight in regard to fighting Golovkin, too.

Remember Cotto’s trainer Freddie Roach has also stated previously he would prefer a rematch against Floyd Mayweather after the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fight, rather than a unification fight against IBF/IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (34-0-31 KO).

Add to this the potential for the WBC to perform to sanction an immediate rematch, to this end (WBC rule 1.29):

“An immediate rematch ordered by the WBC pursuant to Rule 1.29 is considered a mandatory defense. If such rematch is ordered, a previously designated official mandatory challenger shall instead face the winner of immediate rematch without an intervening bout.”

This scenario theoretically speaking could be justified by the WBC because of the financial and prestige value to boxing a second matchup would bring.

The scenarios outlined above are only a theory, but theoretically speaking could happen.

Let’s hope it’s just that, a theory, with no basis and nothing more – come the first of December when the eventual winner of the Cotto vs Canelo fight will be at a boxing Rubicon, and lets hope as boxing fans that the sweet science tide of opinion will make it impossible to cross.

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