Can Rolly Romero Reach Crawford? Cruz Stands in the Way

By Dan Ambrose - 03/30/2024 - Comments

Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero is targeting a fight against Terence Crawford next if he’s victorious tonight in the title defense of his WBA light-welterweight belt against challenger Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz in Las Vegas, Nevada.

A Risky Climb for Romero

For Rolly (15-1, 13 KOs) to get a fight against Crawford, he’ll not only need to win against Pitbull Cruz (25-2-1, 17 KOs) impressively in their co-feature bout on the Tim Tszyu vs. Sebastian Fundora card at the T-Mobile Arena, but he’ll also have to move up to 154 because that’s where Terence is expected to be fighting next.

“I want 147. I want Terence Crawford,” said Rolly.

The odds are stacked against Rolly being selected by Crawford, who has bigger fish on his plate that he’s fixing to eat. He wants the fight for the WBO junior middleweight title against the winner of tonight’s fight between Tszyu and Fundora.

Even if Terence doesn’t get that fight, it’s unlikely that he will select Rolly. The stigma of being considered the weakest leak of the champions at 140 and viewed by many as being gifted the WBA belt rules out Rolly getting a chance to fight Crawford.

Romero failed in his only fight against an elite-level fighter during his career, suffering a sixth-round knockout loss to Gervonta Davis in a mismatch in 2022.

In Rolly’s last contest in May 2023, he defeated Ismael Barroso by a ninth-round TKO to win the vacant WBA 140-lb title. Since that win, Rolly has been enjoying the money he made and lapping up the acclaim from his win.

Will Crawford Bite?

One possible way that Rolly can get a fight against Crawford is if the Nebraska native fails to get the winner of the Tszyu-Fundora fight.

If Crawford isn’t interested in fighting for the vacant WBO 154-lb title against Josh Kelly and doesn’t wish to move up to 160 or 168, he could, in desperation, turn to Rolly as a last resort.

If he were to choose Rolly, Crawford would reject more profitable options, like fighting Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis and David Benavidez, and that would make him look weak, like a cherry-picker who was afraid of those fighters.