24-year-old lightweight prospect Rolando Romero has picked up a bit of social media buzz, but has yet to have a real breakout fight. That could change on Aug. 15, when the Mayweather Promotions fighter takes on Jackson Marinez for the interim WBA lightweight title in a Showtime co-feature.
Romero (11-0, 10 KO) is another exciting young fighter in what is largely an exciting, young division, and while the interim WBA title has no good reason to exist — the “super world champioin” is Vasiliy Lomachenko and the “world champion” is Gervonta Davis — that’s boxing political favors for you.
He’ll be facing Jackson Marinez (19-0, 7 KO), a 29-year-old fringe contender (being friendly) from the Dominican Republic, and most expect Romero will have his way in what amounts to a showcase bout.
For Romero, though, he doesn’t have the luxury of dismissing Marinez’s chances or thinking of this as some sort of tune-up. Make no mistake: for the fighters, every fight is very real, and a chance to either impress or not, simple as that.
“It feels great to return to the ring and to be fighting for such a great opportunity,” said Romero. “This has been the best camp of my career, and I’ll just say this, if a pandemic is holding you back from training, then you don’t want it bad enough. I already believe I should be here with the top guys, but the world will actually get to see that I am who I say I am.”
Romero also says he expects to get Marinez out well ahead of the scheduled 12-round distance.
“I’m confident in my abilities as a fighter and I have the best in the business, Floyd Mayweather, behind me. I think this fight will end fairly quickly, but you will get to see the growth in me as a fighter. This is another fight that will further prove I’m here to stay. Sign up for KOs!”
Marinez is certainly the underdog, the lesser-known fighter even compared to Romero not having had the chance to be a star or anything just yet. But he’s been training in Robert Garcia’s gym and getting in work with some very notable names.
“I’ve had a great training camp for this fight,” said Marinez. “I’ve been sparring with Vergil Ortiz and Jose Ramirez, plus other fighters in Robert Garcia’s gym, and it’s gotten me ready to step into the ring. I know that Romero is a tough and durable fighter, so it won’t be easy, but I’m going to do anything I can to bring the title back home.”