By Craig Daley: Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero’s coach Cromwell ‘Bullet’ Gordon says the referee Tony Weeks saw that Ismael Barroso was hurt in the ninth round, so he did the logical thing by stepping in to stop the contest last Saturday night at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Bullet says Rolly (15-1, 13 KOs) was going to “kill” the 40-year-old Barroso (24-4-2, 22 KOs) in a round or two because he was tired & hurt. The referee knew that and wanted to make sure he didn’t get hurt.
According to Bullet, the Nevada State Athletic Commission is under pressure because a lot of fighters are getting hurt.
Rolly’s game plan was to be patient early
“I love the fact that he didn’t care about nothing else but the job that he had to do,” said Rolly’s trainer Cromwell ‘Bullet’ Gordon to Fight Hub TV about Rolando Romero’s win over Ismael Barroso.
“He had to be patient, move his feet and get the older guy tired because the guy could crack. He had 24 wins with 22 knockouts. Those numbers are not lies.
“We had to be smart, and Rolly had to show that he could use his legs as much as he could punch, and that’s just maturation and using the right tools out of his toolkit, especially the patience tool. That’s what we discussed all camp. Patience.
“It was more of an off-balance flash,” said Bullet about Rolly being dropped by the 40-year-old Barroso in round two. “When you’re coming back from a fight where you got hit hard, and you got stopped, it’s hard to bounce back from that. People don’t know that.
“You got to go back into the ring and experience that so you can get past that trauma. So mentally, he passed the test,” Bullet said, conveniently failing to mention that the referee Tony Weeks’ premature stoppage may have saved Rolly from being knocked out or losing a decision.
“After the knockdown [in round two], I felt we got behind because of the 10-8 round, that’s two rounds at the beginning of the fight. But our game plan was to move our feet and get this guy tired.
“We don’t care about the points that happened in the first six rounds. We don’t care. I don’t care if he [Rolly] landed five punches per round. I just wanted to get that dude tired because I didn’t want that dude fresh shooting shots at him. He’s a dangerous person. You don’t play with them.
“Once we saw the sign of wearing down and getting slower on the step, we knew the game plan was coming into effect. The game plan was perfect. I’m happy he listened, I’m happy he executed, and that’s why he’s a champion right now,” said Bullet, leaving out the fact that the referee Weeks is the real reason why Rolly is a champion.
The ref saw that Barroso was hurt
“Honestly, the stoppage to me, I didn’t like the stoppage, but I’m going to tell you something,” Bullet said. “The Nevada State Commission is already under some pressure about some people getting hurt in the ring necessarily.
“If Rolly had kept going a round or two, he would have killed that dude because once you’re tired, your done. So what did they want? Did they want him to kill him? And then he knocks him out, ‘Oh, he beat up an old guy.’ So what is the kudos here?
“The ref did his job. In millions of fights, the referees get praised for it or booed for it. You don’t boo the fighter because of the other person [the referee] made the decision on, but he saw that the dude was hurt. He was hurt here.
“You know Rolly punches hard, so he was going to kill him. He [Barroso] was defending himself, but he wasn’t all the way there. He was tired, and he was still buzzed. So if people haven’t been in the ring and haven’t been touched or haven’t been dazed, I don’t care what they say.
“They’ve never experienced that. It looks like. Honestly, between me and you, I think Rolly wanted to hurt him bad too. Rolly would have loved to put him to sleep and beat him that way. That’s the type of fighter he is.
“‘I’ve worked so hard to get this knockout, and I’m on the brink of getting it,’ and then the fight is stopped. You’re still hungry because you didn’t get the KO that you wanted, and they’re not going to sleep.
“I think Rolly as a fighter; he wants that. But we also know that we’re moving to the other side of his career, and he’s not always going to knock everybody out.
“There are going to be times when things happen our way, and we still got to move forward. That’s just a maturity of us as a team and him as a fighter, me as a coach, and us coming together and learning,” said Bullet.