This weekend’s Showtime Championship Boxing telecast will feature once-beaten Rolando “Rolly” Romero (14-1, 12KOs=80%) as he attempts to claim his first world title in the 140-pound weight class.
Romero, 27, will have homefield advantage when he challenges Ismael Barroso (24-3-2, 22KOs=76%) for the vacant WBA junior welterweight championship live from Chelsea Ballroom in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
What Title Is On the Line?
The bout was originally billed as an interim title, but the decision was made to elevate the title status to full just three days from fight night.
This was just one of several changes that have been made to Saturday’s featured bout.
We’re currently on the second week of a 9-week consecutive fight loop. Showtime Championship Boxing will go on a six-week hiatus following this Saturday’s telecast (returns June 24th).
About Rolly Romero Foe Puello
When president of Showtime Sports Stephen Espinoza released the schedule for the first half of 2023, it was undefeated Dominican Albert Puello who had first billing over Romero.
Pulleo was coming off his own vacant WBA title win last August, but news of his failed A-Sample drug test came with just over three weeks to the scheduled bout.
As first reported by ESPN’s Mike Coppinger and confirmed through a letter from VADA, Puello was popped for clomiphene. That’s the same performance enhancer that has welterweight Connor Benn embroiled in controversy.
So, with a replacement opponent less than a month out, and just two weeks shy of a year-long layoff, Romero heads into new territory at 140lbs.
Rolly Romero Trying New Weight Class
The last time we saw Romero he was sharing the ring with Gervonta “Tank” Davis in what was billed as a blood feud.
The May 2022 promotion was a success by many metrics, and Tank would come away with the victory via 6th round TKO in what would be a career highlight—a left that sent Rolly into the corner ropes headfirst.
Despite suffering the first loss of his career, Romero found success early and managed to land several right hands, which sent the crowd into hysterics.
It was a night that belonged to the lore that is “Tank,” but the success Romero found against his nemesis keeps him in the running for a rematch.
While most fans desperately want to see Tank test himself next against the likes of Devin Haney or Lomachenko, it is at least clear that Romero is being given the chance on Saturday to hedge his bets, so to speak.
Rolly Romero v Gervonta Davis 2?
If Romero is able to pick up a strap at 140lbs, it will position him directly in the path of Tank’s quest for a title at junior welterweight.
For Rolly, holding a title at 140lbs also puts him in the scope of other mega stars in the division such as Ryan Garcia. The two shared a beef that escalated just before Covid. Not to mention, any other titlist in the division looking to unify will want Romero’s share of 140.
Romero needs to apply the same kind of pressure he showed early against Tank and utilize his youth against the 40yr old Barroso.
He needs to put an exclamation on this win, but many boxing pundits question whether Romero will be able to carry any power at 140lbs.
Romero has never fought at junior welterweight. He does own a 1st round KO over an opponent that officially weighed in at 141 1/2lbs on a ShoBox telecast back in 2019—Romero weighed 138lbs for that fight.
For Romero, it’s a weekend of second chances: a second chance at a world title and a second opponent to have to prepare for. Plus, a possible 2nd chance for Romero to get back to the big stage against the likes of Tank or Garcia.
However, it was announced by the WBA that the winner between Romero-Barroso will be ordered to defend the title against Ohara Davies, fresh off his 9th round KO win over Lewis Ritson back in March.
First thing first, Rolly Romero has to deal with a solid vet on Saturday.