Pinoy boxing champ Cuello forgets title belt in taxi

SINGAPORE, Singapore – Denver “The Excitement” Cuello (32-4-6, 21KO) of Binangonan, Rizal and the reigning WBC Silver Minimumweight Champion, "lost" his title last night in peculiar fashion – not by defeat to an opponent in the ring but by leaving his precious world title belt in a taxi cab on his way home.

In Metro Manila, it’s commonplace for passengers to leave belongings in taxi cabs specially during the wee hours of the night but this particular instance quite stands out from the norm.

Championship belts are large and gaudy and are usually hand-crafted and extravagantly designed, much like a cup or trophy in other sports. The championship belt represents a fighter’s accolades and accomplishments and signifies his lofty perch atop divisional rankings.

Fighters spill blood, sweat and tears just to own the coveted championship belt – Denver Cuello got his no different. Cuello fought through a mediocre first part of his career in which he suffered three early losses at a point in time where he admittedly was just using the sport as a means to make a quick buck.

Things changed in recent times however and Cuello is currently riding a nasty 11-fight win streak with 10 KO’s which included winning the coveted WBC strap.

Leaving it in a taxi cab is just, well, unfortunate.

Nag guest po kasi ako sa NET 25 kaya kailangan kong dalhin yung belt ko. Pagsakay ko ng taxi nakatulog ako. Naiwan ko bag ko.” said Cuello in a PTV Sports interview. (I was a guest for channel NET 25 that’s why I needed to bring my belt. I took a taxi home and fell asleep. I forgot my bag)

Sana po maibalik yung belt ko kasi dugo’t pawis po ang puhunan ko diyan. Kahit yung belt lang. Paki-usap naman po,” said the man considered the most avoided fighter in Boxing’s lightest weight division. (I hope I get my belt back because blood and sweat was shed for that. Just return the belt, please.)

Nevertheless, Cuello has high hopes of the belt finding its way back around his waist at the soonest possible time. This incident could be the closest Cuello could get to losing the title, because there is no one in his division willing to legitimately challenge him for it in the ring.

Cuello is currently being lined up for a shot at the WBC alphabet strap sometime late this year.

The belt is reportedly worth about P2-million.