Alberto Puello will defend his WBA junior welterweight title this spring against Rolando Romero, Mike Coppinger reports at ESPN.com, with Keith Idec first reporting the story.
On the surface, this looks very much like a “because the right people wanted it” sort of fight. Romero (14-1, 12 KO) is not only coming off of a knockout loss to Gervonta Davis in May 2022, but he has never fought at 140 lbs. But a lot of things can be adjusted and maneuvered in the sport of boxing if the right people want things done, and Romero carries a particular sort of name value, and even more than that, there are people who want him to be a star.
Romero also made some headlines this week for a video of him getting dropped in sparring.
Puello (21-0, 10 KO) claimed the vacant WBA belt last August with a split decision win over Batyr Akhmedov. There was talk in December of him fighting Gary Antuanne Russell, which was a whole ordeal with the WBA convention, and would have seen Russell leapfrog Ismael Barroso, who has been repeatedly guaranteed a shot at this belt, but now it seems it will be Romero.
At any rate, it’s a curious move from a “logic” standpoint in terms of what should happen in a sport, but again, the reasons for pushing Romero into this fight are pretty obvious, and those reasons carry a lot more weight in boxing than any sporting aspect does.