Rolando “Rolly” Romero knew the danger involved Saturday night, even if Ismael Barroso looked significantly older than his listed age of 40.
After suffering a third-round knockdown, a sometimes-reluctant Romero fought accordingly over the ensuing six rounds. Romero eventually scored a debatable knockdown of his own early in the ninth round and was awarded a controversial technical-knockout victory in their “Showtime Championship Boxing” main event at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Referee Tony Weeks oddly stopped the action at 2:41 of the ninth round.
Barroso was on his feet when Weeks surprisingly stepped between them to halt their scheduled 12-round fight. The Venezuelan veteran appeared to slip most of Romero’s punches prior to the suspect stoppage.
Even Romero admitted that Barroso should have been afforded the opportunity to fight on.
Nevertheless, the 28-year-old Romero (15-1, 13 KOs) won the vacant WBA super lightweight title in his first fight since Gervonta Davis knocked him out almost a year ago. The left-handed Barroso (24-3-2, 22 KOs) lost by knockout for the third time in his 17-year professional career.