WBA orders Rolly Romero to defend against Ohara Davies next

By Boxing News - 05/30/2023 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero (15-1, 13 KOs) has been ordered by the WBA to defend his 140-lb title next against his mandatory Ohara Davies, which means that he’ll need to come up with a step aside if he wants to go ahead with his plans for a PPV clash against Ryan Garcia.

Davies (25-2, 18 KOs), a British that isn’t well known to casual boxing fans in the U.S., isn’t the type of opponent that the 27-year-old Rolly had in mind for his next fight after winning his WBA light welterweight title with a controversial ninth round knockout over Ismael Barroso on May 13th.

This move by the WBA to order Rolly to defend against Davies is arguably coming back to bite Rolando in the backside because his win over Barroso was utterly controversial, and many view him as undeserving of being champion after the way that fight ended.

If Rolly thought he was going to move on and use his WBA belt to get a big payday against Ryan Garcia, it’s not going to happen unless he does one of the following:

A. Defends against Ohara Davies

B. Pays Davies a step aside

C. Vacates WBA title

If Rolly wants to fight Ryan Garcia now, he must devise a respectable step-aside fee that the 31-year-old London-born Davies will agree to or vacate his WBA title. Davies is not a name that will resonate with the U.S. boxing public.

PBC would need to stick this fight on regular Showtime and hope Rolly doesn’t look as awful as he did against the 40-year-old Barroso. If he performs like that, he will be in trouble against Davies.

Although Rolly has talked about vacating his WBA title if he can’t get a big PPV-worthy opponent for his next fight, it’s unlikely that he’ll do that because, without that belt, he’s not going to have anything to lure popular fighters like Ryan, Devin Haney, and Gervonta Davis to fight him.

If Rolly had more talent, it wouldn’t be an issue for him to defend against Davies because this should be a simple title defense. However, Davies has more than enough ability to defeat Rolly, provided the referee is a quality one and not someone that will suddenly jump in and top the fight for no apparent reason, as we saw in the Rolly-Barroso fight.

Ryan posted on social media moments ago that Rolly is one of the three opponents he’s looking at for his next fight, but he acknowledges that he’s now been ordered to fight his mandatory.

Davies has won his last seven fights since losing to Jack Catterall by a 12  round unanimous decision in 2018. In 2017, Josh Taylor stopped Davies in the seventh round in a one-sided contest.