David Cuellar aims to fill the void at the top of the bantamweight division
Earlier this year, Naoya Inoue vacated his undisputed bantamweight championship to move up to junior featherweight in search of more glory.
Since then, his old titles have found new homes, but the division lacks clarity and a clear No. 1.
One man hoping to emerge from the pack is David Cuellar.
The 21-year-old Mexican, who was the subject of a New Faces feature in the February 2023 issue of The Ring, has won all three fights this year including, most recently, stopping former two-weight titleholder Luis Concepcion (TKO 8) on October 13.
The win earned the rising star a No. 10 ranking in The Ring’s bantamweight rankings.
“[It was a] tough fight, he’s a very experienced fighter, he showed me tricky stuff in there,” Cuellar (26-0, 18 knockouts) told The Ring through promoter Oswaldo Kulche of Promociones del Pueblo. “I felt stronger during the course of the fight. My fists were flying as I got [more] confident.
“I like to deliver bodyshots and Concepcion was very durable fighter, I know why he was a world champion at some point. He took good punishment. I felt good but I’m going to 122-pounds in short time.”
Before heading up in weight he wants a world title fight at 118-pounds. And judging by the manner in which he took a part 50-fight veteran such as the aggressive Panamanian, that isn’t too far away.
“I want [a shot at the] WBC bantamweight title asap – I’m ready,” proclaimed the Queretaro native, who first took an interest in boxing at 5-years-old and turned professional, after going 90-10 as an amateur, at just 15.
“[Alexandro] Santiago is very good champion, he beat Nonito [Donaire] and surprised everybody. A fight between us two Mexican warriors will be a very fun to watch fight.”
Cuellar is trained Chepo Reynoso, famed for honing Canelo Alvarez skills from a teenager into the biggest star in boxing. The veteran trainer expects big things from the young fighter.
“David is still learning, he is very young and he is growing, he is the most disciplined fighter I’ve seen since Canelo,” said Reynoso. “He is smart and he really wants to be world champion, he reminds me of Canelo in the early stage of his career.”
All of which is music to Kulche’s ears. The promoter recognizes the importance of his fighters recent win and feels this is an excellent building block.
“It’s a good win for him, he now will start fighting tougher opponents,” said Kulche. “David will fight mid-January. We will suggest a elimination bout to the WBC, so we can be No. 1 in the rankings and pursue the champion. Our target is mid 2024.”
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].