Rolando Romero was gifted the WBA 140 lb title tonight thanks to a terrible stoppage call by referee Tony Weeks, which gave him a ninth round win over Ismael Barroso in a fight Romero was losing.
Romero (15-1, 13 KO) had been dropped in the third round and just wasn’t doing much of anything for much of the fight. On our unofficial cards, Romero was down 78-73 and 79-72. Those aren’t official, obviously, but the general sense was he hadn’t won more than a couple of rounds.
In round nine, he did start throwing power shots. Let’s be fair there. And now let’s be fair to Tony Weeks, who first called a knockdown that was much more of a shove, and then stopped the fight at an absolutely bizarre, inexplicable point, with both fighters throwing punches and nothing much landing.
The official time of stoppage was 2:41 of round nine. The win gives Romero the WBA junior welterweight title, and, being frank, keeps him alive as a marketing tool.
To Romero’s credit, he said he felt the fight should have continued, and gave Barroso (24-4-2, 22 KO) respect.
“I’m gonna be honest, he’s a warrior, he wanted to keep going, he should have been able to keep going. We both wanted it to keep going,” Romero says when asked about the stoppage. “I came in a little cold, I got cracked, and I finished the round like a champion. I kept going and got the victory.”
“I took my time, moved around. The man’s strong, man. I had to be careful with him,” Romero said of his approach. “You think I want to get caught by one of (his punches)? I told you he can crack. I told everyone he can crack.”
Romero now has his sights set on another big fight next.
“Obviously (I want) the rematch with Tank, but I think there’s a much bigger option, I want to go after Ryan Garcia (at 140),” he said. “Let’s do it on pay-per-view, let’s do this shit on Showtime.”
“I think it was an injustice to stop this fight,” Barroso said via translator. “He just stopped the fight and didn’t tell me anything. There was nothing clear he hit me with (during the final bit of action). Then he stopped the fight. We don’t understand.”
Referee Tony Weeks and the head of the Nevada commission “refused to come on camera,” according to interviewer Jim Gray.
Romero vs Barroso highlights
Undercard highlights and results
- Rances Barthelemy MD-10 Omar Juarez: The 37-year-old Barthelemy bounces back yet again, going to 30-2-1 (15 KO) with the win over Juarez (14-2, 5 KO) on scores of 95-95, 97-93, and 98-92. Wil Esco scored it 96-94 Barthelemy on our unofficial card. Old “Kid Blast” just is not going to go away easy.
- Kenneth Sims Jr MD-12 Batyr Akhmedov: If you missed this one, watch it. It probably won’t be on Fight of the Year lists at the end of 2023, but not for lack of trying. Terrific fight, rugged and hard-hitting, both had some really good stretches, momentum shifted a few times — just a hell of a fight. It’s a career-best win for Sims (19-2-1, 7 KO), and it was a WBA eliminator at 140, so he’s in line for a shot now. It took Ismael Barroso three years to get a fight out of a WBA eliminator, sure, but Sims has a power promoter. Akhmedov (9-3, 8 KO) is really having a Derevyanchenko-type career, all three of his losses have been close, to good fighters, in good fights. Bad Left Hook had it 114-114 and 115-113 Sims on our unofficial cards. Akhmedov was not happy with the decision.