Hard-hitting Rolando “Rolly’’ Romero fulfilled his lifelong dream of winning a world championship as the native Las Vegan recorded a ninth-round TKO against No. 1 contender Ismael Barroso trailing on all three judges’ scorecards to capture the vacant WBA Super Lightweight World Title on Saturday live on SHOWTIME from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
At the time of the stoppage, Romero was down on all three scorecards: 78-73, 77-74, 76-75.
“I think it was an injustice to stop the fight,” said Barroso, a late replacement after Alberto Puello, who previously held the WBA 140-pound title, had been stripped of his title because of a failed VADA test. “I was landing the better shots. It was a push on the first knockdown. It wasn’t a big blow or anything. The referee just stopped the fight, and he didn’t say anything. You can see it clearly. I’m the one who’s hitting him. There was nothing clear that he hit me with. I don’t understand why they stopped the fight.”
Barroso outlanded Romeo, 57-40, and threw 297 punches to 230 for Romero.
Romero was dropped by a strong Barroso left hand in the waning seconds of the third round as Romero touched the canvas for just the second time of his career as he was also knocked out by a Gervonta Davis left in his last fight a year ago.
“I boxed the entire time,” said Romero, who became the second Las Vegas native to win a world title along with Ishe Smith. “I came in a little cold. I got cracked and I got up like a champion and kept going.”
Romero was clear about his future intentions after the fight. “There’s only two fights I want,” he said. “There’s the rematch with Tank Davis. But I think there’s a much bigger option. I want to go after Ryan Garcia. We can do it on Showtime PPV.”