By Ronnie Nathanielsz
China’s WBC strawweight champion Xiong Zhao Zhong claims he doesn’t fear anyone in his division including mandatory challenger Denver Cuello who was forced to step aside by the WBC board of governors who approved a voluntary defense by Zhong at the WBC convention in Cancun last December.
The Bangkok Post reported that Zhong who is training in Thailand said he will fight anyone who steps into the same ring.
Zhong who became the first professional WBC world champion from China was quoted saying "Everyone wants to fight me but they should remember I am getting better with every title I win and defend."
He said "I beat the two best Mexicans to win the silver and the world titles, so I don't have to prove anything."
When pressed for a reaction to Cuello’s criticism and his manager Aljoe Jaro’s confidence that the Filipino would knock him out that’s why he was avoiding the original mandatory challenge committed by the WBC after Cuello stepped aside to enable Zhong to fight for and win the vacant title, Zhong said that his fight record shows why he's a world champion and "Cuello's not".
Zhong made it clear "I can only fight two or three times for a world title in a year. There are more than 10 fighters who want to fight for my title. I can't fight them all at once so they should go and get other fights to improve their records” stressing "I don't fear anyone in this division. In time I will fight and beat them all my only request is that they treat me with respect."
Lu Gang who is Zhong’s manager and also a Yunnan TV executive is working with American promoter Gary Shaw to stage the title defense in the United States..
Shaw told us “we are working on finishing up negotiations. It will most likely be in Las Vegas but I will l speak with the team this week and will make a final decision at that time.”
The promoter said he is not in a position to name a possible opponent until negotiations are finalized.
However, the Bangkok Post reported that Zhong has been approached by Thais Wanheng Menayothin and Pigmy Kokietgym, the Philippines' top-ranked contender Devon Cuello (Singwangcha) and a bunch of Mexican fighters such as Juan Hernandez, Raul Garcia and Jose Alfredo Zungia while negotiations fell through with South African Hekkie Budler, who wasn't available for a title shot in the US and now the match-makers are turning to Panama's boxers Walter Tello and Carlos Carlos Ortego.