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Tony Weeks explains Romero vs Barroso stoppage, admits he gave Barroso “short leash” due to age

The Nevada State Athletic Commission has yet to comment

Rolando Romero v Ismael Barroso Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images

Referee Tony Weeks authored the worst early stoppage in recent memory a few weeks back when he gave Rolando Romero a TKO win over Ismael Barroso despite Barroso landing more and heavier punches than Romero in the final exchange. Though the Nevada State Athletic Commission has predictably refused to address the issue, Weeks finally broke his silence in an interview with NY Fights.

If anything, his explanation makes things worse.

“What was in my mind was, a 40 year old fighter, in a young man’s game,” Tony Weeks told me. “Any official will tell you, you get a fight, and a fighter is at an advanced age, you’re going to look at him a little harder than the other fighter…When I look at a fighter who’s up there in age, there’s two things I look at: his reaction when he takes his first hit, and his stamina in the later rounds. Up until the stoppage, Romero didn’t really land flush, he landed flush in that last round. When he landed flush, Barroso went down. It told me right then and there, I don’t know if he can take it.”

As Luke Thomas points out, that’s complete nonsense. Barroso didn’t go down when Romero landed flush; he got rattled by a left hook, but Romero whiffed on the follow-up, planted his glove against the side of Barroso’s head, and shoved him to the mat. The only person who “went down” after getting hit flush in that fight was Romero in the third.

Weeks goes on to claim that he wouldn’t have stopped the fight if he’d been in a better position to see that none of Romero’s punches were landing and Barroso only “doubled over” to slip the shots and come back with right hooks, but that’s beside the point. The fact is that Weeks, with no hint of shame, admits that he gave one fighter preferential treatment.

Even if it won’t get anywhere, Romero’s team couldn’t have asked for better ammunition if they commit to a protest.

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