The sport of boxing is on a massive roll, and the momentum train continues to move at top speed, with its next stop being the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Showtime PPV will host an intriguing matchup between WBA (regular) lightweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis (26-0) going up against Rolando “Rolly” Romero (14-0).
Although most see this as a lopsided matchup, and Vegas does too (Davis -1450, Romero +770 per FanDuel), some aren’t so convinced. Romero is an interesting person as he is considered a master troller on social media and knows what to say and do to get people riled up. Yes, Davis’ boxing skills are far more advanced than Romero but what he lacks is made up in punching power. The twelve knockouts he has on his record reflect some of that power out of his fourteen wins.
This is the second go-round for this fight, as it was initially scheduled to take place back in December. The press conference leading up to it clearly showed Romero playing the “heel” role and doing what he does to get under the skin of Davis. Weeks later, some allegations played out on Twitter against Romero, which caught on like fire. Unfortunately, we live in an era where “cancel culture” is a thing, and it doesn’t take much proving of anything for something to catch on. That’s what happened here, and the suits at Showtime felt like they had to make a move, so they replaced Romero with Isaac Cruz (23-2-1).
How did Romero find out about being replaced, and did he think his career could be in jeopardy? Rolly told NYFights, “When the fight was first canceled, I found out through social media first, and then I got the call that the fight was canceled shortly after. Romero continued, “Hell yeah, I knew I would box again. I knew it would roll over like it did because it was bullshit. People believe whatever they see because they are stupid. I’m not just talking about my situation but things in general.”
Romero continued, “It was a random person that I hadn’t spoken to in multiple years that was trying to get a little bit of money and clout. It could have been you or anybody. The situation was that stupid. I hope it’s a life lesson to everyone in power that they shouldn’t believe any bullshit they hear.”
A couple of months passed, and the Las Vegas Police Department reported that the charges were dropped, and Romero was cleared to continue his career as a fighter. Many weren’t sure if Romero would get a shot at Davis again, but he was extremely confident that he would. Rolly told NYF,” I was going to get ready for my next fight regardless if the WBA mandated the fight again. At the end of the day, I’m ranked #1 in the world, so it was going to happen regardless of what anyone had to say, and the person that is going to sell the fight most is me.”
The fight was rescheduled for this Saturday, and we will finally get to see Romero face Tank Davis. Romero held his training camp in Las Vegas, where his long-time trainer Cromwell Gordon had the tough task of developing a game plan for this fight. Larry Wade was in charge of strength and conditioning while his father (Rolando Romero Sr.) looked on to make sure his son was in top form. Having seen Romero fight up close since 2019 and seeing recent videos and pictures, it looks like Rolly understands how big of a fight this is for him. Although he knows the majority of the Barclays will be filled with Tank fans, he says he’s not worried about any of that.
Many fighters have weighed in on Saturday night’s fight, and the consensus is that it won’t go the distance and that Tank will stop Romero. But those same individuals added that Romero has that “pop” in his punches and that his best chances are for him to catch Davis early in the fight. In his mind, Romero is thinking along the same lines but wants to make it a short night as he says, “I am going to knock him out in the first round.” If that isn’t a confident fighter, I don’t know what is. Towards the end, I asked Romero about his future, and he told NYF, “I really can’t say. I have no interest in anything else other than knocking out Gervonta Davis.”
My Three Cents
This Saturday night will undoubtedly draw the eyeballs of hard-core fans and casual ones since Gervonta Davis’ status with pop culture is significant. There is plenty of back story to this fight but at the end of the day, what matters is when we hear the bell for the first round. Will we see Gervonta Davis score another highlight-reel knockout, or does Rolando Romero shock the world and oddsmakers with a knockout of his own?
Tune into Showtime PPV (74.99) to find out what happens on Saturday night in Brooklyn, NY!