Ismael Barroso emphatically made the most of his second chance Saturday night.

The 40-year-old Venezuelan southpaw stunningly dropped Ohara Davies twice, knocked him out in the first round and secured a well-deserved rematch with Rolly Romero on the Vergil Ortiz Jr.-Fredrick Lawson undercard at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. Barroso won the WBA interim super lightweight title 7½ months after Romero beat him controversially by ninth-round technical knockout May 13 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Referee Celestino Ruiz stopped their 12-round, 140-pound bout just 1:53 into the opening round because Davies didn’t respond to Ruiz’s commands to Ruiz’s liking once the British contender reached his feet after the second knockdown.

“I said in an interview earlier that when I started boxing that I had a lot of power, and I’m showing that power now that God is on my side,” Barroso told DAZN’s Beto Duran in the ring. “I have that power.”

The hard-hitting Barroso (25-4-2, 23 KOs) ruined Davies’ debut with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and ensured his second shot at Romero (15-1, 13 KOs).

“After that first punch, I knew that I had him,” Barroso said. “I knew that it was a good punch.”

London’s Davies (25-3, 18 KOs) lost by knockout for the second time in his career. Former undisputed 140-pound champion Josh Taylor (19-1, 13 KOs) is the only other opponent to stop Davies inside the distance.

North Las Vegas’ Romero was supposed to defend his WBA belt against Davies last year, within 120 days of his controversial ninth-round stoppage of Barroso on May 13 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

The WBA granted Romero an injury exemption, though, and ordered the Davies-Barroso bout for its interim title. The WBA also required Romero to make his first title defense versus the Davies-Barroso winner by March 20.

“The people have been asking for Rolly and Barroso again,” Barroso said. “Romero, I’m right here.”

Ryan Garcia drew attention Saturday, however, by announcing on social media that he wants to fight Romero next, not Devin Haney. The brash Romero could relinquish his WBA belt to fight Garcia in a higher-profile pay-per-view event, rather than battling Barroso again.

Barroso dropped Romero in the second round and led on all three scorecards when referee Tony Weeks peculiarly, prematurely stopped their “Showtime Championship Boxing” main event in the ninth round. Weeks halted the action when Barroso was still standing and had just thrown a punch at Romero.

An aggressive Barroso got to Davies even earlier Saturday night.

A counter left hand by Barroso staggered Davies and eventually landed him flat on his back with 1:45 to go in the first round. Davies answered Ruiz’s count at four, but still seemed badly hurt.

Barroso landed several more power punches as soon as the action resumed and knocked Davies to the canvas again with 1:2 to go in the opening round. Davies reached his feet quickly again and nodded his head when Ruiz asked him if he wanted to continue.

Ruiz realized Davies wasn’t in condition to continue fighting and stopped the brief bout.

Davies and Barroso were first scheduled to square off December 2 at Toyota Center in Houston, on the Garcia-Oscar Duarte undercard. Their bout was postponed five weeks because Davies’ visa issue would’ve prohibited him from flying from London to Houston until three days before he was supposed to box Barroso.

With his visa situation resolved, Davies arrived in Las Vegas on December 27. The delay didn’t negatively impact Barroso, who followed his trainer’s instructions and jumped on Davies early in the first round.

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