WBC asks Team Cuello for patience, trust
MANILA, Philippines – The World Boxing Council (WBC) appealed to Filipino minimumweight boxer Denver Cuello and his manager, Aljoe Jaro, to be patient and trust the sanctioning body after the fighter was made to wait anew for a title shot.
Cuello has been rated as the No. 1 contender for the WBC minimumweight belt for two years now, but was asked by the organization to step aside in order to allow China’s Xiong Zhao Zhong and Mexico’s Javier Martinez to fight for the vacant belt.
The WBC had promised that Cuello would be the mandatory challenger against the eventual winner, Xiong, but the organization instead allowed the Chinese champion to fight a different challenger.
In a letter from the WBC revealed to The Philippine Star’s Joaquin Henson, the organization’s executive director, Mauricio Sulaiman, asked both Cuello and Jaro to understand the position the WBC took.
“I only wish you will understand that history is being made and great champions, like Cuello, have the WBC as a home,” Sulaiman said in his letter.
“Sometimes, it is important to wait for the right moment. Erik Morales waited two years, Chiquita Gonzalez as well. Everything is decided for the best of the world of boxing and the world will not end in three months,” he added.
“I understand your position and your desperation and the pressure from your fighter. It just happens that the Chinese market could blossom with this opportunity and we want you to be part of it.”
Sulaiman, on behalf of his father and WBC president Don Jose Sulaiman, asked Cuello and Jaro “to accept a decision for the future of boxing.”
“So many fighters in history have followed my father’s advice and became his godsons for showing patience and loyalty. That has no price. We understand Denver is eager to become a champion but all you have to do is trust my father,” the younger Sulaiman said.
But in Henson’s report, Jaro showed his frustration over the situation.
“All I want is for Sulaiman to explain why Denver is being bypassed again as a mandatory challenger,” he told Henson. “What is the reason? Sulaiman has to make it clear because he is going back on his word.”
“They broke their word. What are the rules for if Sulaiman himself violates his own rules? It’s very shameful. They should be grateful that I stayed loyal to the WBC,” Jaro said.
Jaro challenged the WBC to “do what is right in the spirit of justice for all,” insisting that they would not accept another step-aside fee.
“What’s important is the belt, not the money,” he said. “Now, more than ever, the integrity of boxing should be upheld by leaders like Don Jose and Mauricio Sulaiman.”