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)
Popular Filipino power puncher Denver Cuello (34-5-6, 22) may have had a year to forget though it seems the future is bright for him and from what we understand he is looking to get back to competing at the top level next year and the intention seems to be for him to get his second shot at the WBC Minimumweight title.
Cuello has been inactive for much of the last 2 years with a recurring arm injury that has thwarted his career and derailed his previous world title bout, a loss to Xiong Zhao Zhong. That issue appears to be behind him now and this coming weekend he will be fighting for the second time in as many months. Although his coming bout is a mismatch, against Indonesia's tough Samuel Tehuayo (18-27-2, 3), it's a bout designed to help Cuello shake off some remaining ring rust and test the arm. If all goes as planned then his team will help move him towards a major bout.
It seems the WBC is the title that Cuello has his eyes set on and that's a belt currently held by unbeaten Thai Wanheng Menayothin (36-0, 12). Wanheng won the belt recently when he stopped Mexico's Oswaldo Novoa and whilst Cuello obviously wants a shot at the belt he's not the only man who appears to be viewing Wanheng as a possible rival. We know that there has been talk about Kosei Tanaka (4-0, 2) getting his hands on the WBC champion whilst others are certainly going to be looking at Wanheng as a possible foe.
It's hard not to like Cuello though we suspect he will need a serious test before a world title bout. A bout with Tehuayo will not prepare him for someone like Wanheng and his team really should be trying to get him at least one solid warm up bout before taking on the Thai world champion. If Cuello passes a serious test then it'll be fair to say that he'll be ready to get his shot.
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