Today there was a pretty big card at the Angono Sports Complex in Angono, Rizal. The card wasn't a stacked one in terms of world class talent, but did have some pretty notable Filipino fighters on it, with a nice mixture of veterans and youngsters on it.
Among those veterans was the returning was the returning Denver Cuello (37-5-6, 25), who was fighting for the first time since the summer of 2018. The former world title challenger, now 32, made light work of Indonesian journeyman Jack Amisa (21-46-2, 14). Amisa seemed to be hurt by everything he was caught with and was dropped in the opening round, before being taken apart in round 2 and being stopped, with the bout being waved off whilst Amisa was on his knees on the canvas. Given the long lay off Cuello looked good, but clearly wasn't the fighter he had once been and will likely want another couple of fights before facing a notable foe.
Another veteran picking up a win was former WBC Flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro (45-14-5, 31), who scored a 4th round TKO win over veteran Indonesian Boido Simanjuntak (24-54-2, 10). A third notable Filipino veteran was former world title challenger Ardin Diale (35-13-4, 17), who scored defeated Richard Rosales (13-9-2, 7), who retired after round 3.
As for the youngsters it was 22 year old KJ Natuplag (8-0-2, 7) who impressed, stopping Robert Udtohan (24-6-3, 15) in the 5th round. On paper this is a goof win, though it is Udtohan's 4th stoppage loss in 6 bouts, and his 5th loss in 6, leaving real question marks as to his desire. Another youngster picking up a good win was Adrian Lerasan (7-3, 1), who took an 8 round decision win over the heavy handed Jeny Boy Boca (12-6, 10)
Exciting Filipino Minimumweight Denver Cuello (35-6-5, 24) has had a frustrating few years plagued by injury and frustrated further by the politics of the sport. Thankfully however he has reason to celebrate this week after the WBC confirmed that Cuello would get a long awaited world title eliminator.
Originally Cuello was supposed to get a shot much earlier this year. Those plans were thwarted when Carlos Ortega lost in a stay busy fight last December after the WBC ordered the two men to fight in an eliminator. Cuello was then supposed to fight Raul Garcia in a bout that never materialised.
Now however the WBC have ordered Cuello to face Mexico's Saul Juarez (22-4, 12) in a final eliminator. Juarez is a man who has been in good form since losing Milan Melindo last December, winning back to back fights against former world champion Adrian Hernandez though will be fighting at 105lbs for what we believe is the first time.
There is no set date on the bout though the winner is now very unlikely to get a world title fight before 2016. That's because current champion Wanheng Menayothin will be defending his WBC title in November against South Korean fighter Young Kil Bae and the winner of Cuello/Juarez will need to wait to face the winner of Wanheng/Bae.
Wanheng Menayothin to defend WBC title against Young Kil Bae on November 27th!
Denver Cuello Vs Raul Garcia penciled in for April 11th
We've known for while that Filipino fighter Denver Cuello (35-5-6, 23) has been eyeing up a potential world title fight with the unbeaten WBC champion Wanheng Menayothin. It would likely that if he was to get that bout at some point later this year he would be expected to fight in Thailand, where Wanheng has relatively powerful and strong financial backers.
Ahead of that possible show down, which we believe is ear marked for December if everything goes to plan, it seems that Cuello is wanting to get experience of the harsh Thai conditions.
In recent weeks the Filipino has been working as part of Amnat Ruenroeng's team ahead of Amnat's IBF Flyweight title defense against Johnriel Casimero. That work will end on June 27th when Cuello takes to the ring to battle against Indonesian journeyman Boy Tanto (9-16, 1)*.
From what we understand the bout is scheduled for 8 rounds at 108lbs to allow Cuello a chance to get used to a fight in Thailand before the possible Wanheng match up. It is however a clear mismatch between a journeyman and one of the top contenders in and around Minimumweight. The idea though is to get through the bout with a win, got some good rounds and get prepared for either a world title eliminator or a world title fight.
The bout was one of a number announced recently for the "Mono 29 Big Fight" card and looks to be the most attention grabbing of the under-card bouts which generally feature a number of young and promising Thia youngsters such as the very promising Atchariya Virotesunobon (3-0, 1) and Denchana Chanadejgym (1-0)
*Tanto's record has been listed differently in the past by Indonesian TV though the general view is that the TV numbers were very wrong.
(Image courtesy of kiatkreerin and thairec.com)
*Huge thanks to Pal for alerting us to this match up!
Popular Filipino fighter Denver Cuello (35-5-6, 23) may have had a couple of forgettable years marred by injury and disappointment, including his narrow loss to Xiong Zhao Zhong. This year however is a new year and the future is still incredibly bright for the 28 year old Southpaw, known as “The Excitement”.
This year certainly promises a lot for Cuello and it seems that his next fight has been pencilled in for April 11th with the bout being a huge one against Mexico's former IBF and WBO champion Raul Garcia (36-3-1, 22). Not only is it a great match up on paper but it's also likely to be a WBC world title eliminator with the winner expected to get a shot at Wanheng Menayothin (37-0, 12) later this year.
The reports from the Philippines say the bout will take places at the Ynares Arena in Pasig City and will be Cuello's first bout in Pasig City in more than 4 years.
Although we believe there are still finishing touches to be made before the fight is signed sealed and delivered everyone seems very confident that a deal is in place for the fight and Cuello has already began his training with sparring sessions with Kyota Otsuka (5-0, 3) at the Jaro Boxing Gym.
For Cuello a win against Garcia would see him getting a second bite at the proverbial cherry following his loss to Zhong in 2013. For Garcia a win would earn him his first would title fight since he lost the WBO title to Moises Fuentes way back in August 2011 and would actually set him up for a chance to become a 3-time world champion.
Give the power of both men we expect this will be a very exciting all-southpaw war between two men who know the stakes are very high.
From a fans perspective either man in with Wanheng would be brilliant to watch and we'd certainly love to watch either of those, as well as this eliminator.
(Image courtesy of boxrec.com)
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