FILIPINO Denver Cuello started hot but couldn’t sustain his momentum against World Boxing Council Chinese minimum weight champion Xiong Zhao Zhong.
Xiong retained his title via unanimous decision over Cuello Friday night in Dubai.
The Chinese, who was knocked down in the opening round, won on a majority decision – 115-112 and 113-110, with the third judge making it 113-113 to improve his record to 21-4-1 win-loss-draw card with 11 knockouts.
Cuello, who dropped to 33-5-6 card with 21 knockouts, struggled with a shoulder injury that prevented him from using his right hand most of the fight. He had apparently injured the shoulder during training.
He also received cut in a clash of heads in the ninth round, allowing Xiong to gain points.
Aljoe Jaro, Cuello’s manager, said that Cuello will not be able to fight again this year and may undergo a shoulder operation.
JOSEF T. RAMOS