by Ronnie Nathanielsz
The World Boxing Council is surprised by the decision of Kazuto Ioka to relinquish his WBC title and to retain his WBA belt following his unanimous twelve round decision win over WBA champion Akira Yaegeshi in Osaka on June 20.
WBC president Don Jose Sulaiman told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard “As it was an unexpected event, I am consulting with the Board of Governors.”
The 23 year old Ioka had been publicly challenged by the devastating puncher Denver Cuello, the Silver champion who had vowed to knock him out quickly. The 25 year old southpaw has a record of 31-4-6 with 21 knockouts ..
Cuello solidified his hold on the WBC Silver minimum weight title with a 2nd round TKO over Mexico’s Ganigan Lopez when the fight was stopped by referee Frank Gaza at 2:37 of the round as Cuello battered Lopez.
Cuello had won the vacant Silver title with a 1st round knockoiut of Carlos Perez who went down grimacing in pain following a vicious shot to the ribs on October 15, 2011.
Prior to the unification bout the WBC had written to both Ioka and Yaegashi that the winner would have to relinquish one of the titles since they both had mandatory challengers with Cuello being the mandatory challenger to Ioka.
The Japanese champion apparently wishes to move up to light flyweight although Cuello’s camp has accused the undefeated 23-year-old with a record of 10-0 with 6 knockouts of ducking the Filipino.
Cuello’s manager/promoter and trainer Aljoe Jaro said under WBC rules Article 3.15 that if the title is vacant and the champion doesn’t wish to fight his mandatory then Cuello could be elevated to champion and awarded the regular title.
A former boxer himself Aljoe Jaro said the Silver title was similar to an Interim champion and believes Cuello “should be automatically crowned champion and his first defense will be a mandatory against the No.1 contender.”
Undefeated Thai Wanheng Menayothin who has a record of 23-0 with 7 knockouts is the No.2 contender .Aljoe Jaro told us he is willing to have Cuello face the Thai for the title should the WBC declare it vacant, confident “we can beat him even in his own backyard.”