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Rolando Romero vs Ismael Barroso now for vacant title, Alberto Puello named champion in recess

Whoever walks away with the belt must then fight Ohara Davies within 120 days.

Gervonta Davis v Rolando Romero - Weigh-in Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

The WBA has released its ruling on the super lightweight clusterf*ck that started when champion Alberto Puello failed a drug test in April. Puello is now “champion in recess” pending a May 17th NSAC hearing, making Saturday’s cobbled-together clash between Rolando Romero and Ismael Barroso a vacant title fight.

Whoever wins must then face Ohara Davis, who knocked out Lewis Ritson in a March eliminator, within 120 days. This is a notably quicker turnaround than the three years Barroso (24-3-2, 22 KO) spent waiting for his shot.

This seems like an uncharacteristically sound move by the sanctioning body. Puello (21-0, 10 KO) gets a chance to both plead his case to NSAC and potentially request a B-sample, Romero (14-1, 12 KO) and Barroso get to fight for real hardware, and the mandatory conveyor belt keeps on moving. It’s still dumb that Romero is even pat of this scenario, but credit where it’s due.

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