by Ronnie Nathanielsz
WBC minimumweight Silver champion and mandatory challenger Denver Cuello is being left out in the cold by the Chinese promoter of champion Xiong Zhao Zhong following the WBC board of governors questionable approval of a voluntary defense by the Chinese champion.
The WBC board granted the Chinese request despite a previous written commitment by the WBC that Cuello would be the mandatory challenger against the winner in the battle for the vacant title between Zhong and Javier Martinez Resendiz last November 24 in Kunming, China.
The Manila Standard learned that Zhong’s promoter Lu Gang, who met with American promoter Gary Shaw, does not want Zhong to face a Mexican in his voluntary title defense and would reportedly pick an opponent next week.
At the same time the Chinese promoter ignored Cuello’s rights as a mandatory challenger, banking on the support of the World Boxing Council.
The Standard learned that WBC executive secretary Mauricio Sulaiman has been briefed on the latest developments but hasn’t made any public announcements.
Cuello’s promoter and trainer Aljoe Jaro told us that his lawyer is preparing to send a demand letter to the WBC before instituting legal action for breach of a written commitment.
The commitment was made after Aljoe Jaro agreed to the pleas of WBC president Jose Sulaiman for Cuello to step aside to be able to bring the huge Chinese market into the pro boxing fold of the WBC. Cuello received $25,000 as step aside fee but insists on fighting for the world title after a two year wait.
However, Aljoe Jaro indicated to us he is willing, in order to stave off any legal battle and a souring of friendships with the WBC, to accept a reasonable step aside fee. But promoter Lu Gang is not willing to discuss a step-aside fee, banking on the WBC governors ruling which didn’t mention a step aside fee.
Aljoe Jaro said that while he plans to file a case against the WBC he is exploring the possibility of getting Cello a shot at the WBO title since champion Moises Fuentes has moved up in weight and will clash with light flyweight champion Donnie Nietes in a title fight in Cebu this March.