MANILA, Philippines – World Boxing Council (WBC) international minimumweight champion Denver Cuello continues to wait for his shot at the world title after the sanctioning body decided not to award him a mandatory fight.
PhilBoxing’s Ronnie Nathanielsz reported that the WBC “deprived" Cuello of a promised mandatory title shot against newly crowned champion Xiong Zhao Zhong of China.
Cuello won the vacant ‘silver minimum weight title’ with a technical knockout victory over Carlos Perez in October 2011, then won the final title eliminator bout when he defeated Ganigan Lopez by TKO last May.
Nathanielsz said Cuello and his manager, Aljoe Jaro, agreed to “step aside” and allow Xiong to fight for the vacant belt against Mexico’s Javier Martinez Resendiz last November.
WBC president Don Jose Sulaiman then promised that Cuello will fight the winner of the Xiong-Resendiz fight.
But Jaro informed PhilBoxing that the WBC has “agreed to grant Xiong a voluntary defense in violation of the commitment that Cuello would be given a mandatory crack at the new champion.”
“It’s terrible what the WBC has done. I feel sorry for Cuello, who is tired of waiting for a title shot which he was promised by Sulaiman,” Jaro told Nathanielsz, noting that the Filipino has been waiting for the title fight for two years now.
Sulaiman told PhilBoxing that the issue of Xiong’s voluntary defense was raised during the WBC’s convention in Mexico, and claimed that “there was no objection.”
“Nobody said anything, and there were many representatives from the Philippines,” Sulaiman said.
But Jaro explained in a separate PhilBoxing interview that he did not discuss Cuello’s mandatory fight as he already had verbal and written commitments from Sulaiman.
“When I asked WBC secretary-general Mauricio Sulaiman if Denver could fight for the IBF (International Boxing Federation) world championship while waiting for the WBC mandatory defense, he told me to just wait for three months after the China fight because Cuello is the mandatory challenger,” Jaro said.
Cuello is now considering suing the WBC Board of Governors and Sulaiman.