Ohara Davies doesn’t believe that Rolly Romero is injured.

The British junior welterweight contender is convinced that Romero’s mysterious absence from the ring is more the result of the polarizing power puncher not being in the right frame of mind to train. Regardless, Davies (25-2, 18 KOs) is consequently required to go through the opponent Romero defeated in controversial fashion almost eight months ago, Ismael Barroso, to win the WBA’s 140-pound crown to get his shot at that belt.

The London native’s mandated shot at Romero’s WBA super lightweight title was postponed last year because the WBA granted Romero an injury exemption. Romero, 29, has not revealed the undisclosed injury that led to this extended break.

According to a WBA ruling, Romero (15-1, 13 KOs) has until March 20 to defend his title against the winner of the Davies-Barroso bout Saturday night for the WBA interim 140-pound crown.

Davies is a 5-1 favorite to beat Barroso in a fight DAZN will stream from Virgin Hotels Las Vegas as part of the Vergil Ortiz Jr.-Fredrick Lawson undercard (8 p.m. ET; 5 p.m. PT). While focused on battling Barroso (24-4-2, 22 KOs), a strong southpaw who dropped Romero and was ahead on all three scorecards at the time of a premature stoppage May 13 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Davies noticed from afar what he considers bizarre behavior from Romero.

“He’s not injured,” Davies told BoxingScene.com. “It just seems like he’s not in the gym. He hasn’t got his mind in the right place. He Tweets complete madness. He just Tweets weird things. Sometimes I think he’s not mentally all there. But a lot of people, they do it for the show. A lot of people are quite smart and they Tweet things that are just wild, say wild things, to get attention.

“But I think with Rolly, I think he’s just a genuinely dumb kid. He’s just a stupid person. He’s got no sense. He’s very foolish. I think he’s won the world title and he doesn’t know how to handle it. Maybe he got paid a bit of money, and he doesn’t know how to handle it, and he’s not in the gym. So, his team, [Leonard] Ellerbe, probably just said, ‘Let’s say he’s injured, so that he gets a bit more time.’ And, you know, fair play, they’ve got a bit more time, but time’s running out.”

Davis, his manager, Lee Eaton, and his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, will push for Davies to get his shot at Romero’s championship if he beats Barroso in DAZN’s co-feature Saturday night. Romero repeatedly expressed his preference to fight Ryan Garcia since he won his WBA belt, but Garcia’s handlers are in negotiations for Garcia (24-1, 20 KOs) to challenge newly crowned WBC super lightweight champ Devin Haney (31-0, 15 KOs) in his next fight.

“I don’t believe that there is any other way,” Davies said. “He has found a way, saying that he’s injured, which is why I’m fighting Ismael Barroso. As long as I do what I’m meant to do, I get rid of Ismael Barroso, I don’t see any other way out of it. There is no other way out of it. He has to fight against me, and I don’t believe there’s another way out of it. But we’ll see.”

The 31-year-old Davies, who will end a 10-month layoff Saturday night, intends to return to the gym quickly after defeating the Venezuelan-born, Miami-based Barroso. He wants to make up for lost time in 2023, much of which he spent training, first for the Romero match that never materialized and then the postponed Barroso bout.

Davies was scheduled to box Barroso on December 2 as part of the Ryan Garcia-Oscar Duarte undercard at Toyota Center in Houston. Their 12-round, 140-pound championship clash was delayed five weeks because a visa issue would’ve prevented Davies from flying from London to Houston until three days before it was to take place.

With his visa situation settled, Davies arrived in Las Vegas on December 27 and cannot wait to resume his career.

“As far as I know, Rolly is meant to fight against me before the 31st of March this year,” Davies said. “He’s meant to defend against the winner before the 31st of March. So, once this fight is done, I’m having three, four, five days off, and I’m getting straight back in the gym. Because if he doesn’t defend against me after this fight, then he’s got to vacate the belt. So, as far as I’m concerned, he’s got until the 31st of March. But I’m trying to not focus on that, really, because I’ve still got to get through this fight.

“You know, I see him and Ryan Garcia calling each other out online, and he’s calling out this person and that person. I’m like, ‘Mate, you’re free to fight against anyone you want. Just give up the belt. If you wanna fight against these guys, I’m not against it. You can fight Ryan Garcia or Devin Haney. I’ll even buy tickets to come watch you fight. But you won’t be fighting for the belt.’ ”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.