MANILA, Philippines — The opponent for Filipino strawweight contender Denver Cuello’s tuneup match in Morelia, Mexico, has been narrowed down to Mexican journeymen Ivan Meneses and Armando Torres, says Cuello’s manager/trainer Aljoe Jaro.
Cuello (31-4-6, 21 knockouts), of Binangonan, Philippines, hasn’t fought since May, when he knocked out Ganigan Lopez in two rounds to become the mandatory challenger for the recently vacated WBC 105-pound title, which will now be filled by the winner of the Xiong Zhao Zhong-Javier Resendiz match on October 27 in Kunming, China.
The 25-year-old Cuello is rated no. 4 by THE RING at 105 pounds and is promoted by Canelo Promotions. The bout will headline an event promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, Canelo Promotions and Boxeo de Gala and televised by Mexican network Televisa.
Meneses (18-10-1, 10 KOs) recently upset rated contender Luis Ceja in his last bout, while the former title challenger Torres (19-9, 13 KOs) spoiled the title hopes of world-rated Sammy Gutierrez in his latest match.
Jaro says he and Cuello agreed to step aside to allow Zhao Zhong, who is conspicuously absent from the ratings on the WBC’s website, to fight the Mexican Resendiz. Jaro says that Cuello will get his much overdue shot in December.
“I don’t know, it’s up to my manager,” said Cuello when asked about why he stepped aside. “He said the WBC manager requested it from him but only for three months.”
Cuello has lost just once in his last 27 bouts, with the lone defeat being a bizarre third-round disqualification against Mexican Juan Hernandez in 2010, after Cuello struck the bloodied Hernandez when he was already down.
Interestingly, Zhao Zhong lost an eight-round bout in Japan this past April. His record is a modest 19-4-1 (11 KOs), though he managed to score a knockdown of then-WBC flyweight titleholder Daisuke Naito in 2009 in his only previous title opportunity.
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to GMA News. He is also a member of The Ring ratings panel and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.
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