By Ronnie Nathanielsz
World Boxing Council president Don Jose Sulaiman has said he cannot reverse the board of governors decision to allow star-weight champion Xiong Zhao Zhong of China to have a voluntary title defense before facing mandatory challenger and Silver champion Denver Cuello of the Philippines.
Amidst a flurry of exchanges between Cuello’s promoter and trainer, former boxer Aljoe Jaro and Sulaiman following the WBC board of governors decision effectively over-ruling an earlier commitment that Cuello would get a mandatory title shot at the winner between Zhong and Mexico’s Javier Martinez Resendiz in Kunming, China last November 24 after Cuello stepped aside at the request of Sulaiman and payment of a fee of $25,000, Aljoe Jaro made it clear he was not willing to step-aside again.
In his latest email to Don Jose who accused Jaro of attacking him, Sulaiman said “I have no authority to modify the convention decision.”
He claimed that “when there was the request from the Champion (for a voluntary defense) there was no one representing Denver, nor one single person who would oppose the request.”
Sulaiman said that for that reason a vote was taken and the request was unanimously approved.
However, Sulaiman said while the voluntary defense was approved there was “a definite and absolute condition that the winner will meet Denver next” even as he disclosed that “the voluntary defense will take place in March, with the free negotiations with Denver starting the next day of the fight, with whoever might be the winner.”
The WBC president claimed that “everybody knows that all mandatory fights are reviewed and voted at the convention” and Jaro should have had a representative present to object.
Jaro pointed out that Cuello who won the final title eliminator with a smashing 2nd round TKO of Ganigan Lopez in Mexico had received a written commitment from the WBC that he would face the winner of the Zhong-Martinez Rezendiz title fight and it was a settled issue.
Jaro insisted that Cuello had waited two years for a chance to fight for the world title and wants to fight “not for the money but for the green and gold belt” of the WBC and expressed the hope that Sulaiman would reverse the decision granting Zhong a voluntary defense.
Jaro said he left the convention because his conversations particularly with Don Jose’s son and heir-apparent, executive secretary Mauricio Sulaiman were over and Jaro had made his position clear.
Cuello’s promoter asked, “why don’t they want Denver to fight Zhong in Las Vegas?”
The Manila Standard learned that Chinese promoter Lu Dang was scheduled to meet American promoter Gary Shaw in Bangkok on January 8 to discuss Zhong's title defense in Las Vegas with a suggestion that Cuello be featured in the undercard which Jaro has objected to pointing out that nobody had even given him the courtesy of discussing it with him.