By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Devastating puncher Denver Cuello, the World Boxing Council strawweight silver champion has retained his belt in a title eliminator with a smashing second round knockout of No. 1 ranked Ganigan Lopez of Mexico in Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico on Saturday.
Cuello, a stablemate of WBC flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro is determined to follow in his footsteps and win another world title for the Philippines and he showed he had the ability to do that with his devastating knockout of Lopez.
The protégé of former boxer and now manager/promoter Aljoe Jaro dropped Lopez in the opening round and ended the one-sided battle by sending the Mexican challenger to the canvas in the second round with a series of vicious shots to the head and body.
In an exciting but short-lived battle of southpaws Cuello showed his hand-speed and precise punching in the opening round and some solid defense against the aggressive Lopez at the start of the second round before nailing the top-ranked contender with a series of combinations.
Lopez was out for the count at 2:37 of the second round. The referee was Frank Garza.
With the win Cuello improves to 29-4 with 14 knockouts while Lopez drops to 28-5 with 13 knockouts.
WBC president Don Jose Sulaiman who earlier predicted Cuello would win although he said Ganigan Lopez was a good fighter told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that “it was a shock here. But yes, Cuello can punch.”
Sulaiman conceded that there was “some confusion” over the world title clash against 23 year old champion Kazuto Ioka of Japan who has a record of 9-0 with 6 knockouts but who apparently doesn’t want to fight Cuello. In fact Ioka is scheduled for a unification title fight against WBA champion Akira Yaegashi (15-2, 8 KO’s) on June 20.
However, Sulaiman said he will sort it out.