Filipino boxer Denver Cuello, who is ranked No. 1 contender in the 105-lb. division by the World Boxing Council (WBC) for the last two years, has engaged the services of legal experts to sue WBC President Jose Sulaiman and the WBC Board of Governors for their breach of a written commitment and agreement for Cuello to be the mandatory challenger to Chinese champion Xiong Zhao Zhong.
Zhong, China's first world boxing champion who won the world title in Kunming City Nov. 24, is scheduled to fight a Mexican challenger in the US reportedly against a choice challenger from Mexico.
Cuello, 25, who has toppled the best in his division, was earlier supposed to fight the Number 2 contender for the WBC miniflyweight title after Japanese champion Kazuto Ioka vacated the title to campaign in the lightflyweight division.
But according to his manager Aljo Jaro, he and Cuello agreed to step aside after Sulaiman personally appealed to them to give Zhong a chance to fight for the world championship to make a breakthrough for boxing in China.
Zhong was not even rated in the miniflyweight division but was ranked No. 8 in the junior flyweight division while his opponent Javier Martinez was rated No. 7 in the 105-lb. division.
"We agreed to step aside because of the verbal and written commitments made by President Sulaiman and the WBC Board of Governors that Denver will be the mandatory challenger to the winner of the China championship bout," Jaro said.
In deciding to ignore the mandatory title fight for Cuello, Sulaiman blamed Jaro and Cuello for not being present during the WBC Board of Governors mandatory fight meeting in Cancun saying he could not represent Jaro or Cuello in the fight.
Jaro, however, said that while he was in Cancun during the meeting, he felt no need to discuss the mandatory fight because it was already committed to them verbally and through email messages by Sulaiman himself.
"In fact, when I asked WBC Secretary General Mauricio Sulaiman if Denver could fight for the IBF world championship fight while waiting for the WBC mandatory defense, he told me to just wait for three months after the China fight because Cuello is the mandatory challenger," Jaro.
Jaro said Cuello passed off a lot of opportunities to fight under other boxing organizations just to show his loyalty to the WBC.
"Is this what I get for waiting and for agreeing to step aside? This is a great injustice to me," Cuello told his manager, Aljo Jaro.
Jaro said he tried to convince Cuello to give him a chance to reason with the WBC but that the boxer said he has decided to take legal action with the help of an uncle who is a lawyer based in the United States.
The legal action could either be initiated in the Philippines or in the United States where the managers of Zhong have allegedly entered into an agreement with Promoter Gary Shaw to promote his first title defense against Mexico's Juan Hernandez, who is also a knockout victim of Cuello.
Well-known Filipino lawyer Israelito Torreon, who is the Governor of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for Mindanao has volunteered to handle the case should it be filed in the Philippines.
"This is going to be an interesting case and we would like to see Mr. Sulaiman and the WBC Board of Governors in the sala of Philippine judges," Torreon, who filed the historic suit against the MOA-AD in 2008 against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said.