Cuello, Jaro to take tune-up fights in Japan on April 7
Former flyweight world champion Sonny Boy Jaro and top strawweight contender Denver Cuello will fight in separate bouts on the undercard of WBA bantamweight titleholder Koki Kameda's defense against Juan Carlos Payano on April 7 at Bodymaker Colosseum in Osaka, Japan, said their promoter Aljoe Jaro.
Sonny Boy Jaro (34-11-5, 24 knockouts) of Silay City, Philippines will face Hiroyuki Hisataka (21-10-1, 10 KOs), while Cuello (32-4-6, 21 KOs) of Iloilo, Philippines faces former world title challenger Takashi Kunishige (24-8-2, 2 KOs). Both opponents are from Osaka, with each bout scheduled for ten rounds.
[Related: Filipino boxers Jaro, Fareñas fall, but hold their heads up high in Japan]
The 30-year-old Jaro will be returning to the country where he lost his Ring Magazine/WBC flyweight titles last July to Toshiyuki Igarashi on a split-decision verdict. Jaro had won the title by knocking out long-time champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam last March in a performance that was named Ring Magazine's Upset of the Year.
Cuello, 26, will be fighting for the second straight time since becoming the mandatory challenger for the WBC strawweight title by knocking out Mexican Ganigan Lopez in two rounds last May.
[Related: Denver Cuello's team upset with WBC mandatory shot postponement]
Despite being the mandatory challenger, Cuello accepted a fee to step aside and allow Chinese journeyman Xiong Zhao Zhong to fight for the vacant belt, which he won. Negotiations to finally match the heavily-favored Cuello stalled after granting Zhong a voluntary defense, with the agreement that Zhong would have to face Cuello in his first defense.
Aljoe Jaro tells GMA News that the latter situation is still "up in the air," with a venue and date for an eventual clash in America still to be determined.
Kunishige, though coming off a loss in his last bout at age 36, has fought three former world champions, including Kazuto Ioka, Suriyan Sor Rungvisai and Edgar Sosa, the latter of whom he challenged for the WBC light flyweight title in 2008.
The event will be promoted by Kameda Promotions in association with Jaro Boxing. - AMD, GMA News
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to GMA News. He is also a member of The Ring ratings panel and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. An archive of his work can be found here. Follow him on Twitter too.