Rolando Romero is coming off a controversial win over Jackson Marinez.

For his efforts, Romero took home a WBA interim lightweight title, but he also was awarded a heap of criticism at no fault of his own when all three judges handed the 25-year-old a unanimous decision.

Romero won the fight on paper, but certainly, the action inside the ring last August said otherwise when the Las Vegas-based fighter was outboxed by Marinez.

Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe knows that Romero has to have a definitive performance and victory to prove that his last showing was an anomaly when Romero (12-0, 10 KOs) takes on Avery Sparrow (10-2, 3 KOs) on Saturday to kick off Showtime’s tripleheader at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. (9 p.m. ET; 6 p.m. PT).

“It wasn’t a great performance at all. I’d be lying to you if I said it was a great performance,” Ellerbe told in an interview. “Rolando has been working really hard at his craft since the last fight. He’s ready to silence the critics. Rolly has a tremendous amount of confidence in himself.”

The then-unbeaten Marinez was a step up in competition for Romero, and it showed, as the Dominican fighter unofficially outlanded Romero in overall punches, power punches and jabs during the fight.

Romero has been preparing for his Saturday night fight with the help and guidance of his promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at] or on