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Rolly Romero: Shakur ‘Most Boring Boxer,’ Boxing’s A ‘Dead Sport’

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Rolly Romero: Shakur ‘Most Boring Boxer,’ Boxing’s A ‘Dead Sport’

He’s a love ‘im or hate ‘im type, so plenty of folks won’t even use one ear to hear what Rolly Romero has to say about anything, but that’s too bad, because the boxer sometimes offers up provocative and insightful commentary.

The boxer, best known for talking himself into a fight with Gervonta Davis, and having that opportunity take a turn, spoke to Elie Seckbach this past weekend. The videographer grilled Romero about what he’s got in the planning stages.

The 14-1 Nevada resident, who got stopped by Tank on May 28, 2022, offered his thoughts on a possible matchup with Shakur Stevenson. Shakur missed weight for his last bout, so he’ll be moving up to 135 from 130.

I don’t care about fighting Shakur,” said the 27 year old, who attended the Top Rank event Saturday in Vegas. “Shakur will kill my fanbase, because he’s just the most boring fighter in the world.”

The topic is pertinent, arguably, because the WBC at their annual convention announced their plan to have Shakur and Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz fight, with the victor to stand as the WBC’s mandatory challenger in the 135-pound division. Now, that won’t happen, because boxing…but it did prompt some spicy real talk from Rolly Romero.

Seckbach next asked what of recently announced fights are compelling to Romero. “I’m gonna be honest with you,” he answered, “boxing is a dead sport, nobody fights nobody, everybody’s scared, everyone who has a belt just wants to hold it. That’s the reason why boxing’s not marketable. They’re killing the sport for all of us. Looking at the damn schedule for the next six months,” he said, trailing off, his disgust obvious.

Nope, a Caleb Plant versus David Benavidez doesn’t float his boat. “That’s one of those fights, it has to happen, they have no other options,” Rolly Romero said. Devin Haney versus Vasiliy Lomachenko, if and when that happens, isn’t that something to get amped over? Nah, he ain’t feelin’ it….He shrugged, saying, “You wanna put the fans to sleep? I’m gonna go with Loma. But regardless, there’s no good fights in boxing. There’s nothing interesting in boxing right now.”

Yeah, he’s sorta on the same wavelength as David Phillips. (Click here to read the screed by the film analyst/fightwriter/author.) And yeah, I’m gonna admit that the year end fizzle out, referenced by Phillips, affected me, as well.

David Phillips isn't happy that boxing lost momentum and is ending the year on a down note.

Phillips and Romero seem to be rowers in the same boat.

Rolly doesn’t see Jake Paul as a savior, it seems, nor even an acceptable salve for those disappointed that meaningful fights didn’t get made to end the year on an upswing.

Elie sort of underscored the woes when he then asked about Canelo versus Jake Paul. Yeah, so much of the coverage of the sport is in the realm of conjecture, speculating about fights that likely or definitely won’t ever get made. Rolly said Jake Paul is too damn big for Floyd Mayweather, if they were to get it on.

Of his own career, Rolly Romero sounded upbeat, promising something big, and compelling, in the fairly near future. He gained a point on my tally sheet when Elie asked him where people should follow him. He thought about it, and said, “Honestly, don’t effing follow me, I don’t care.”

My Three Cents: Rolly is a shit talker, and you don't know if and when he's pushing buttons. Like, maybe he's trolling Shakur and that fight is on his radar. But, he's not wrong about some of his takes. It's not totally true that “nobody fights nobody,” but it kind of is. And there's a temptation to “look on the bright side” and focus on the positives…but if we fans do that, then the status quo won't shift. And we will keep getting served underwhelming fare. Rock on, Rolly.

Editor/publisher Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the thought to be impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live since 2017. He now does work for PROBOX TV, the first truly global boxing network.