by Ronnie Nathanielsz
WBC minimumweight Silver champion Denver Cuello will undergo surgery for a rotator cuff tear in his right shoulder at the Makati Medical Center on Wednesday.
Cuello who lost a twelve round majority decision to Chinese champion Xiong Zhao Zhong at the World Trade Center in Dubai last Saturday morning, Manila Time, returned home on Sunday after his manager used his own money to buy their return tickets after Dubai KO Promotions failed to provide them with their airline tickets and also failed to pay Cuello his purse reported to be $40,000.
At the same time Cuello exonerated his manager from any blame after Aljoe Jaro came under criticism for allowing the mandatory challenger to enter the ring when he knew he was hurting from a shoulder injury which he suffered in his last two fights against Ivan Meneses of Mexico and Takashi Kunishige of Japan.
In a written statement in Pilipino which was translated into English, Cuello said his shoulder injury hurt only occasionally and he was feeling okay before they left for Dubai.
He said “three weeks before the fight, Kuya Aljoe (Jaro) asked me if we should postpone the title fight but it was I who wanted to fight. No postponements. I thought that if I let this opportunity slip away, when will I get another chance? They promised me so many times that I would fight for a title but they always found a way to avoid me. Why should I let this chance slip away? “
Cuello added “I know my own body. They should not blame other people and they should just find ways to help me. I don’t regret losing. This is not the end for me. I will be back. Kuya Aljoe has helped me a lot. Even in my past fights, he has allowed me to keep the percentages of my purse. They should not say bad things about him. We should just help each other. I will be back just wait.”
Alex Leach of the Khaleej Times reported that while Aljoe Jaro was dumbfounded by the judges decision, Zhong’s manager Lui Gang was open to the prospect of staging the fight once more and returning to a place where they’ve been met by such a rapturous, raucous reception.
He said “We’re happy that everybody enjoyed tonight, so we want to come back again to Dubai” even as he conceded “It was a really close fight and our opponent from the Philippines (Cuello) was very tough. It was a good result.”