By Vince D’Writer: A robbery was committed on Saturday night in The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, as referee Tony Weeks prematurely stepped in to put a halt to the championship bout, and as a result of the stoppage, Rolando “Rolly” Romero won the WBA super lightweight title.
The bout between Rolly Romero and Ismael Barroso was a slow-paced fight, but the action picked up in the 9th round, and the fight had the potential to produce an exciting finish. The fans didn’t receive the opportunity to view the finish due to referee Tony Weeks stepping in and making the horrible decision to put a halt to the contest.
The Showtime Boxing telecast started off with a highly competitive match in the super lightweight division as the 10th ranked WBA contender Kenneth Sims Jr defeated Batyr Akhmedov by majority decision. The second fight of the night also featured a pair of boxers who compete in the talent-rich 140-pound division.
In the co-main, former two-weight world champion Rances Barthelemy was able to squeak out a majority decision victory over Omar Juarez. With two quality fights in the books, it was time to end the night with an exciting finish, as Rolly Romero and Ismael Barroso were set to compete against each other for the vacant WBA super lightweight title.
Prior to the Saturday night main event, Ismael Barroso was the WBA number one ranked contender, but Rolly Romero was gifted an opportunity as his name was penciled in to face the champion Alberto Puello. However, Puello was stripped of his title when he tested positive for a banned substance.
With Puello being stripped, Ismael Barroso received the well-deserved opportunity to fight for the vacant world title. Going into the fight, the 40-year-old Barroso entered the contest as the underdog, but more than likely, that distinction was given to him because of his age.
In the first round of the May 13th main event, Romero and Barroso got off to a cautious start due to the fact that both men showed respect for their opponent’s punching power. At the conclusion of the carefully played opening round, Barroso landed two punches, and Romero landed one.
High drama made an appearance in the third round when Rolly Romero made one of his routine mistakes. As Barroso pressed forward, Romero pulled straight back with his head up, and Barroso connected with a left hand shot that sent Romero down to the canvas. Rolly seemed stunned, but he was able to get up and make it out of the round.
Outside of the 3rd round knockdown, the championship fight didn’t have too much action attached to it. Romero consistently used his legs to move around while Barroso proceeded to cut the ring off. Barroso experienced some success landing single left hand shots to the body and to the head of his opponent.
Going into round nine, Rolly Romero was entering the danger zone, as it seemed like the underdog Ismael Barroso, was building a substantial lead on the scorecards. In the opening minute of the 9th, Romero landed a hard left hook, and he followed it up with a right hand shot that appeared to be a downward push.
As a result of the push, Barroso fell down to the canvas, and referee Tony Weeks counted it as a knockdown. Ismael Barroso was able to get up, and Romero proceeded to aggressively press forward.
With 30 seconds left to go in the ninth round, Romero used another right hand push that caused Barroso to stumble into a corner. Romero went into attack mode, but none of his shots were landing, and suddenly Tony Weeks stepped in to put a halt to the contest.
The stoppage was a terrible decision as Tony Weeks blatantly robbed Ismael Barroso (24-4-2, 22 KOs) of his chance to win the WBA title.
Going into the 9th round, Barroso was ahead on all three judges’ scorecards by the scores of 76-75, 77-74, and 78-73.
Prior to the fight, Rolly Romero joked about being a privileged fighter. His comment may have validity to it, as he was awarded a controversial win in 2020 against Jackson Marinez, he was given a title opportunity in his first fight at 140, and he benefited from a controversial stoppage that awarded him the WBA title.
Despite the mediocre performance, the 28-year-old Rolando “Rolly” Romero (15-1, 13 KOs) came out of Saturday night’s contest as the new WBA super lightweight champion. Romero was awarded the title, but during the course of the bout, he still displayed the same bad habits, such as reaching in on offense and pulling straight back on defense.
Now that Romero’s a world champion, he expressed his desire to pursue a big fight against Ryan Garcia or a rematch against Gervonta “Tank” Davis. Before Rolly Romero enters a match versus an elite opponent, he should go back to the lab to sharpen his skills, and he must also seriously consider making a coaching change.