by Ronnie Nathanielsz
WBC minimumweight champion Xiong Zhao Zhong will train for two weeks in Thailand prior to his voluntary title defense planned for Las Vegas in March.
Filipino matchmaker Brico Santig told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that the Chinese champion was set to train in Thailand FROM February 5-19 “because it was too cold in China.”
Santig said he would send trainer Ninolito Jalnaiz to Bangkok to help in the Chinese fighters' preparation.
Santig, who was in Bangkok during the meetings between American promoter Gary Shaw and Zhong’s promoter Lou Gang, said “its good news that Shaw told you mandatory challenger Denver Cuello will get a title shot in June. That’s a good break for Denver" who was forced to step aside after the WBC board of governors approved a request of Zhong’s handlers for one voluntary title defense.
While turning down promoter Aljoe Jaro’s request for Cuello to fight Zhong in a mandatory title shot that had been earlier approved by the WBC, president Don Jose Sulaiman said he would have to wait for three months at the most to get a title shot at the winner of Zhong’s voluntary title defense.
While no opponent has been chosen, negotiations are continuing with the manager of world No. 2 ranked Thai fighter Wanheng Menayothin for a title fight against Zhong in Las Vegas.
Santig said that should Zhong face southpaw Cuello he would be in trouble against the devastating puncher who is promoted and trained by Aljoe Jaro