Cuello wants to avenge Penalosa's loss
By Joaquin Henson
Wed, 28 Aug 2019
Asian Boxing Federation bantamweight champion Denver Cuello said yesterday he?s willing to drop down to 112 pounds and challenge newly-crowned IBO flyweight titleholder Maximino Flores ?anytime, anywhere? to avenge Carlo Penalosa?s defeat to the wiry Mexican.
Penalosa lost to Flores by a split seventh round technical decision for the vacant IBO crown at the TV5 Studios, Novaliches, last Sunday. Cuello was at ringside when Australian referee Garry Dean called a halt to the contest on the advice of ringside physicians Dr. Jose Rivera and Dr. Noel Napa as Penalosa was ruled unfit to continue due to an ugly cut over his left eye inflicted by an accidental headbutt.
Cuello said he?s lined up to fight for the WBC Silver championship in December but if a bout against Flores can be arranged, he?ll make it a priority. Once a WBC minimumweight title challenger, Cuello took nearly a four-year layoff to recover from two right shoulder surgeries but is now on the comeback trail. Last March, Cuello ended a long hiatus by stopping Indonesian veteran Jack Amisa in the second round. Then, last August, he halted Thai Detnarong Omkrathuk to stretch his win streak to five since losing a majority decision to China?s Xiong Chaozhong in Dubai in 2013.
?Bababa ako sa flyweight kung si Flores ang kalaban ko,? said Cuello. ?Sakto ang style ni Flores sa akin. Volume puncher siya at pasok ng pasok. No problem sa akin ?yan. Pagsugod niya, nakaabang na ako. Kukunin ko ang korona niya.?
Cuello said he doesn?t mind fighting Flores in Mexico if that?s what it takes to seal the deal. The Iloilo southpaw logged five fights in Mexico in 2010-12 and lost only once to Juan Hernandez on a disputed disqualification. His Mexican victims were Sebastian Arcos, Carlos Perez, Ganigan Lopez and Ivan Flores.
Two-time world champion and boxing promoter Gerry Penalosa said a Flores-Cuello fight would be an interesting battle. Since Flores won the IBO title in Manila, he may be persuaded to make his first defense here. Cuello, 32, can?t wait for the opportunity. He didn?t see action for close to four years until he returned to the ring last March. Cuello has now won 17 of his last 18 fights dating back to 2010.
Meanwhile, veteran international referee Silvestre Abainza lashed out at Dean for his bizarre decisions during the Flores-Penalosa bout. Dean initially stopped the contest at the end of the sixth round, ruling Penalosa unfit to continue, without consulting the ringside physicians. Dean even took to the microphone to announce his decision in the middle of the ring. But when the ringside physicians told Dean that Penalosa?s cut wasn?t serious, Dean reversed himself and ordered the fight to resume. The confusion took over five minutes to resolve and at first, Flores refused to continue fighting. The Mexican was eventually convinced to fight on but after one round, the ringside physicians examined Penalosa once more and this time, they recommended a stoppage. Dean then waved it off and the outcome went to the scorecards.
?Parang comedy ang IBO,? said Abainza. ?Walang experience sa world title fight ang referee at mga judges pati ang IBO supervisor (Steve Scott) hindi alam ang kaniyang papel pati pag-kwenta ng scorecard hindi alam. Naging pyesta lang ang boksing. Ano ba ?yan??
Dean, 68, has been a referee for 30 years. He was the third man in the ring when Filipino Ronnie Magramo captured the vacant WBF minimumweight title on a second round knockout over Wanwin Chareon of Thailand in Samut Prakan in 1994 and when Filipino Michael Dasmarinas won the vacant IBO bantamweight crown on a knockout over Karim Guerfi in Singapore last year. Despite his long career as a referee, Dean seemed unsure of himself last Sunday. He later admitted there was miscommunication but didn?t elaborate on the failed connection.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.
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