by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Devastating puncher Denver Cuello returns to the ring this September after a fourteen month layoff for surgery on his right rotator cuff after he lost in his WBC minimum weight title bid by a majority decision against China’s world champion Xiong Zhao Zhong in Dubai on June 28, 2013.
The WBC reported that the first championship fight at the World Trade Center in Dubai was “rugged and tremendous as the bruises on the WBC champion clearly show.”
The gallant southpaw Cuello couldn’t overcome the handicap of fighting with one hand after the first two rounds and lost a fight he was expected to win after two dominating performances against tough Mexican opponents in battles for the WBC Silver title.
Cuello won the vacant WBC Silver crown with a 1st round TKO of Carlos Perez onb October 15, 2011 and defended it successfully with a 2nd round TKO over Ganigan Lopez on May 19, 2012. Both fights were held in Mexico.
During last Saturday’s fight card featuring the Penalosa brothers Dodie Boy Jr and Dave at the Mandaluyong City Gym, Cuello told Mike Ochosa of Viva Sports that he had “recovered well from his injury and is now one hundred percent.”
Cuello said he would return to the ring in September in a planned WBC International title fight which he indicated a victory would mean a step towards a world title fight.
The 27 year old Cuello with a record of 33-5-6 with 21 knockouts said he had “fully recovered” from his shoulder injury and started training a few months ago and would continue his training and sparring in Thailand.
Meantime World Boxing Council champion Osvaldo “El Galito” Novoa will defend his title for the second time against undefeated Thai challenger Wanheng Menayothin in Thailand in the last week of September.
The 32 year old Novoa who has a record of 14-4-1 with 9 knockouts successfully defended his title for the first time against Nicaragua’s Alcides Martinez, winning by a 9th round TKO.
The WBC noted that the straw-weight division “has been very active over the years. Its most outstanding champion was Mexican Ricardo “Finito” Lopez who shattered the all-time record by making 22 successful title defenses of his green and gold championship belt.”
Among those Lopez beat in title defenses were ALA Gym trainer Edito “Ala” Villamor, Andy Tabanas and Manny Melchor who were all stopped with the only Filipino going the distance with the Mexican great being Pretty Boy Lucas.
The 28 year old Menayothin has a record of 35-0 with 11 knockouts. He won the vacant WBC International title with a twelve round unanimous decision over Filipino Crison “D’ Cowboy” Omayao on November 11, 2011 and has since defended the title successfully against four other Filipino challengers.