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Alberto Puello defends against Rolly Romero on May 13th

Image: Alberto Puello defends against Rolly Romero on May 13th

By Craig Daly: WBA light welterweight champion Alberto Puello will officially make the first defense of his newly won title against #7 ranked contender Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero on May 13th.

The 27-year-old Rolly (14-1, 12 KOs) is getting a free title shot against the unbeaten Puello (21-0, 10 KOs) despite him coming off a sixth round knockout defeat against WBA ‘regular’ lightweight champion Gervvonta ‘Tank’ Davis last May.

It’s a little troubling that Rolly is getting a title another title shot after being knocked out in his last fight. What happened to the old days of a fighter having to earn a shot at a champion by working their way to the spot by beating top contenders?

Puello is an excellent southpaw with an outstanding engine and counter-punching ability that could be a nightmare for Rolly.

Is the end of the line for Rolly if he loses?

The Mayweather-promoted Rolly is obviously being gifted the title shot against the 28-year-old Dominican Puello. Without Rolly’s popularity as a personality outside the ring among hardcore boxing fans, he wouldn’t get the un-deserved title shot against Puello.

The timing is terrible for Rolly to be fighting for a world title, given the news of him being knocked out in sparring by J’Hon Ingram in a video that was leaked to the media by someone that had been in the gym at the time.

What was disappointing is how Rolly was fighting in the same wild, careless manner that led to his knockout against Tank Davis last May. There were zero improvements in Rolly’s fighting style from that fight, which Ingram, a decent but far from a great fighter, took advantage of by countering him to score the knockout.

If Rolly gets knocked out by the serious fighter Puello, it could be the last time he’s gifted a title shot because he didn’t earn either of his championship fights.

It would be unthinkable for any of the champions to throw Rolly a bone by giving him another title shot if he loses to Puello unless he actually starts beating top contenders to earn the shot, which it’s unlikely he’ll do because he’s too flawed to beat the fighters that he would need to for him to get a third chance to fight for a belt.

Unlike Rolly, Puello had to earn his fight for the vacant WBA light welterweight title last August by beating VeShawn Owens and Jesus Antonio Rubio. In Puello’s last fight, he defeated Batyr Akhmedov by a 12 round majority decision to capture the WBA 140-lb belt.

In Rolly’s case, he beat Jackson Marinez by a controversial 12 round decision, Avery Sparrow and Anthony Yigit.

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