by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Faced with the problem of former minimumweight champion Raul “Rayito” Garcia’s decision to pull out of a final eliminator against No. 1 contender Denver Cuello - because of Garcia’s inability to make the weight - WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman will decide early next week on whether to order a title shot for Cuello against champion Wanheng Menayothin of Thailand as requested by Cuello’s promoter Aljoe Jaro or have either No. 2 ranked Byron Rojas or No. 3 ranked Carlos Buitrago replace Garcia in a final eliminator.
In a conversation with the New Standard/BoxingScene.com, Sulaiman who said he would be back in Mexico City on Monday indicated he would look at the options and make a decision early next week.
The 29 year old Menayothin is undefeated with a record of 38-0 with 13 knockouts and is coming off a 9th round knockout in his last title defense against Filipino Jerry Tomogdan on February 5.
Rojas has a record of 15-2-3 with 8 knockouts while Buitrago has a record of 28-1-1 with 16 knockouts.
The 23 year old Buitrago figured in a split draw with then WBO minimumweight champion Merlito “Tiger” Sabillo in a title fight on November 30, 2013 and is coming off a ten round unanimous decision over Mario Rodriguez to win the WBA/NABO title last March 21 while Rojas scored a 5 th round TKO in a scheduled eight round bout against Julio Mendoza on October 25, 2014.
The 28 year old Cuello has a record of 36-5-6 with 24 knockouts. He won the WBC Silver title with a stunning 1st round knockout of Carlos Perez in Mexico on October 15, 2011 and successfully defended the title with a 2nd round TKO over fancied Ganigan Lopez on May 19, 2012.
Cuello’s only loss in the last five years was in a title fight against China’s Xiong Zhao Zhong in Dubai on June 28, 2013 when he suffered a torn rotator cuff early in the fight and fought the rest of the way with one hand but still managed to hold the champion to a majority decision win.
Cuello underwent surgery and returned to the ring after one year and four months of therapy and won three fights in a row, all by stoppage.