Las Vegas resident Rolando Romero has been pulled from a Dec. 6 fight promotion, in which he had been booked to challenge Gervonta Davis in California, topping a Showtime pay per view event.
Romero, age 26, holds a 14-0 (12 KOs) record, and his trash talking helped maneuver him into a shot at “Tank” Davis. That shot is out the window, though, as allegations of sexual misconduct against Romero forced powers that be to yank him from the assignment.
Instead, Isaac Cruz, a 22-1-1 Mexican will face off with Davis, a 26 year old power puncher from Baltimore. Possessor of a 25-0 record, with 24 KOs, “Tank” will actually be tasked with handling a foe of a higher caliber, on paper, than Romero.
Cruz lost in 2016, drew in 2017, and has been on a solid roll since. His best wins came against Diego Magdaleno, and Francisco Vargas, in his last start (June 19, 2021).
Romero is known as a shit talker, and many pundits assumed that the banter between him and his Mayweather Promotions stable-mate would provide interested fight fans a good deal of amusement in the lead-in to the match at Staples Center.
Then, Davis would get his opportunity to punish Romero for his temerity, and likely KO the relatively green pugilist in a few rounds.
But the script took a turn, when a young woman, Izabel Zambrano, took to social media, announcing that Romero assaulted her while they were hanging out.
“I hate seeing this sexual assault-er everywhere” after footage from the Davis-Romero kickoff presser unfolded in Cali. She followed that with another Tweet: “Seeing somebody who’s sexually assaulted you get to live it up is nasty hate that for me.”
And other messages from other accounts joined the initial accuser, who identified herself as a Latina living in Las Vegas. The Zambrano account posted screen grabs purportedly from other women, sharing some details on encounters which jarred them. A common theme of these excerpts, which haven’t been fact checked, has the boxer being coercive and insistent about receiving sexual favors. I spoke via DM to one of the women, who wishes to remain anonymous, and will post more regarding her interaction with Romero if she decides she wants to go that route.
On Monday, Romero broke his silence about the matter. He called allegations lodged against him “totally false.” He noted it makes sense for him to be removed from the show and promised he’d return to the ring after proving his innocence “through the legal system.”
The Zambrano account had posted that Izabel furnished a complaint to local authorities, so it seems quite possible that Romero’s contention that he is being unfairly judged will be tested by authorities.
Being that social media dominates and colors so much of every day for so many citizens, it’s not surprising that people see a range of reactions to this development. Zambrano contends with material like this from persons weighing in with their two cents.
He Tweeted and then deleted an alert which conveyed his dissatisfaction, in the moment, with his vocation.
The ascending attraction himself drew negative buzz when on Feb. 1, 2020 Gervonta precipitated an altercation with his ex, mother to Gervonta’s daughter born in 2018, at a charity basketball game in Miami.
Some video showing part of the charged interaction between the rising star and Andretta Smothers went viral. Davis was arrested, and had to sort it out in the court system, because he faced charges of battery. Davis also faces charges stemming from a Nov. 2020 driving/traffic incident.
Showtime Boxing has not had good luck of late, with athletes they spotlight finding themselves in hot water for committing infractions.
Of course, that dynamic isn’t specific to the premium cable outfit, or to boxing, period; but there has been a stream of allegations/incidents involving some of Showtimes’ featured players, including Jake Paul, who headlines a Showtime PPV on Dec. 18.