One-armed Cuello loses title challenge in Dubai
WBC minimumweight champion Xiong Zhao Zhong of China survived a first round knockdown Friday night, and turned back Filipino challenger Denver ‘The Excitement’ Cuello by majority decision after twelve rounds of a world title bout held at the World Trade Centre in Dubai, UAE.
The southpaw Cuello fired two powerful lefts in quick succession and stunned Zhong who dropped on his backside in the opening round. But Zhong weathered the storm and slowly piled up the points.
The Chinese champion had no trouble getting in early in the fight as the taller Cuello could not use his right hand to throw a jab. Cuello also had trouble using his right to block in defense having injured his right shoulder during training.
Zhong’s well timed right stung Cuello in the 4th. Past the midway point, the referee, Hector Afu of Panama, checked on Cuello in between rounds but allowed the fight to continue.
Cuello’s cornermen tried to massage and even set his shoulder. A clash of heads in the ninth round also inflicted a cut on Cuello and cost Zhong a point. Zhong however, continued with his busy offense and Cuello’s left hand landed few and far in between.
British judge John Keane called the fight a draw at 113-113, but the other two had it for Zhong – Roman Filimonov of Russia – 115-112 and Sergio Izonzo of Spain – 113-110.
Cuello dropped to his fifth loss at 33W-5L-6D, 21 KOs while Zhong improved to 21W-4L-1D, with 11 KOs.
A very disappointed Promoter Aljoe Jaro disclosed to Cebu Daily News that his prized fighter Denver Cuello will have his right shoulder treated and most possibly undergo surgery.
Jaro was not pleased with the result but he has accepted it and he heaped praises on his boxer for his exceptional courage throughout the fight despite fighting with virtually one hand and also bleeding from a cut.
Jaro said that Cuello will not be able to fight again until the end of this year.