This Saturday at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and live on Showtime, Rolando “Rolly” Romero and Ismael Barroso battle for the vacant WBA junior welterweight title. Thursday’s press conference to hype the fight was predictably intriguing.
The 27-year-old Romero is one of boxing’s most sought after interviews due to his gift for gab and lack of self-censor. In the Las Vegas resident’s last bout, he was stopped by Gervonta Davis in the sixth round. That, of course, has led many to question his worthiness when it comes to a world title fight.
Romero, of course, had something combative to say about that.
“I get special privileges, that’s all I can say,” Romero told members of the media. “When you look as good as me, you get as many privileges as you want…I’ll make 140lbs the most popping division in boxing. It’s gonna be many, many pay-per-view events and I’m gonna be involved in all of them.”
Romero’s opponent, Barroso, is a replacement for Alberto Puello, who was the defending WBA champ set to make the first defense of his title. Puello, however, was forced to withdraw from this Saturday’s bout after testing positive for a banned substance. The WBA named him Champion in Recess while awaiting the results of the B sample of his blood test and pending a proper hearing. Depending on how things turn out, the winner of Romero-Barroso may be ordered to fight Puello next.
“I think Barroso is actually a better fighter than Alberto Puello, because he can actually crack,” Romero said. “Any time you’re in a fight with a puncher, you know it’s gonna be difficult.”
As for Venezuela’s Barroso, Romero is not taking him lightly.
“I’m not underestimating him. I know he can hit and he’s a little tricky. He throws a good straight left that comes out of nowhere that he’s been getting guys with. So I’m definitely not underestimating him…
“I do like trash talking, but this isn’t a trash talking fight. I have to respect this man next to me. Someone didn’t want to follow all the rules, so I have to be grateful Barroso is here.”
When asked about lessons learned from his high-profile KO loss to Davis back in May of last year, the heavy-handed battler had his own unique take on things.
“The only thing that I learned from the Gervonta Davis fight is that I need to be patient. Patience is everything in life.”
Romero’s future plans range for braggadocios-vague to extremely specific.
“I’m going to make 140-pounds the most popping division in boxing,” Romero affirmed. “I see many pay-per-view events and I’m involved in all of them…
“There’s the Ryan Garcia fight,” he then added. “I think everybody’s asking for me vs. Ryan right now, especially at 140…We’re both at 140 now, and I think that’s the fight. That’s a massive fight, and boxing needs that fight. It has a long buildup, a long, long buildup.”
Rolly is no dummy. Ryan Garcia is where the money’s at right now and, given Garcia’s still raw skill set, he also offers up a greater chance at victory than if Romero would take on any of the current elites at 140.
Right now, though, the 14-1 Romero is focused on getting the job done Saturday night and putting on a fan-friendly show
“Everyone can expect to see ‘Rolly’ with the world title around his waist Saturday night. Every fighter that boxes dreams of becoming world champion, so it would be a dream come true.
“This is the beginning of the ‘Rolly’ show again. It’s gonna be fireworks.”