FILIPINO boxer Denver Cuello on Tuesday claimed that he has declined a US$100,000 offer from the World Boxing Council to step aside and forego a mandated shot at the world minimumweight title held by China's Xiong Zhao Zhong.
Cuello had already stepped aside once, giving way last November to the title showdown between Xiong and Mexican Javier Resendiz on the condition that he would get next crack at the winner.
However, Xiong has once again tried to dodge a Cuello fight in favor of a voluntary defense against Juan Hernandez of Mexico - a contender the Filipino fighter had already stopped in their own encounter.
“Hindi naman po ako mukhang pera. Gusto ko karangalan," said Cuello. "Kaya ko namang kitain yun pag nakuha ko na yung korona."
Cuello has no doubt in his mind that he can easily beat China's only reigning world champion. “Maliit lang yun eh (4-foot-11), saka higit na mas magaling pa nga yung mga tinalo ko run dati," he said.
The hard-punching Cabatuan, Iloilo native is one of the most dreaded boxers in the lower weight classes, having knocked out 10 of his past 11 opponents.
“Ang tagal ko nang nanghihintay ng championship fight, tapos ngayong ako na nakalinya, babayaran ulit ako," Cuello said.
Cuello’s handler, Aljo Jaro, has already warned the WBC that he will file a lawsuit if the Filipino is once again denied a shot at the world title.
“Baka next week, i-file na namin yung case sa isang korte dito sa Maynila," said Jaro.
The former boxer told Spin.ph that WBC president Jose Sulaiman has sent him an email several times asking for a “consent” on Xiong’s voluntary title defense, but they have refused to do so.
“Tinalo na namin yun, tapos yun pa ang bibigyan nila ng karapatan sa title challenge? E di halatang takot yung Chinese na mabitawan yung korona,” Jaro said.
According to a report on Philboxing.com, Sulaiman has promised to push for a Cuello fight to Xiong's handlers.
If that fails to push through, the longtime WBC chief has guaranteed Cuello a shot at the winner of the Xiong-Hernandez no later than three months after the title fight.