Juan Pablo Romero had made the most of every opportunity presented to him thus far in his pro career. He hopes to continue that trend tonight against an explosive and dangerous puncher. 

Romero will face once-beaten Elvis Rodriguez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 10-round bout will precede the bout for the undisputed super middleweight championship between Canelo Alvarez and Caleb Plant. 

Both fights will be part of a FOX Pay Per View telecast (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT). 

At Friday’s weigh-in, Romero weighed 143 pounds. Rodriguez weighed in at the contracted weight of 142. 

Romero (14-0, 9 knockouts), who resides in Villa del Carbon, Mexico, defeated Deiner Berrio by unanimous decision in his last bout on April 22. The win over Berrio was his United States debut after all of his fights in Mexico. 

Rodriguez (11-1-1, 10 KOs), a Dominican-born fighter who is trained by Freddie Roach, suffered the first defeat as a pro in his last fight at the hands of Kenneth Sims, Jr. on May 22. Romero understands he is the underdog going into the fight but is confident he can find a way to win after a solid camp. 

“We studied his fights, both in his wins and his loss,” Romero told BoxingScene.com on Thursday afternoon. “In fact, we saw a lot of film on him. We had a very good camp for this fight. We have a good game-plan for (tonight). It’s all about implementing an effective attack.”

Romero jumped on the opportunity for the Berrio fight. The fight took place on a ‘Ring City USA’ card that worked in collaboration with Golden Boy Promotions, Lou DiBella Entertainment, Promociones del Pueblo, and Global Boxing Stars. 

The 31-year-old attempted to have Berrio engage more during the fight as the Colombia-born fighter did little to initiate exchanges. Romero hopes to make an stronger impression on boxing fans tonight with an opponent who will stay more in the pocket.  

“It was a good win for us,” said Romero, who is promoted by Promociones del Pueblo. “I was getting over the effects of having COVID-19. I was not 100 percent and my opponent did not want to engage like I thought he would’ve. We did our best under the circumstances and learned a lot from the fight.”

Romero also has a lot of responsibilities besides being a prizefighter. He is a sergeant in the Mexican army and he works in conjunction with the WBC as an ambassador for anti-bullying programs throughout the country. 

Despite being very busy with those responsibilities, Romero has full camps in preparation for fights. 

“I’m proud to serve my country, but I am able to receive exemptions when I have a fight lined up,” said Romero. “I enjoy working with the WBC on anti-bullying campaigns. I work to my best to engage with the youth and have them take advantage of better opportunities that are presented to them.”

After tonight, Romero’s future plans could take him to fight at 140 or 147 pounds. The Berrios fight was also fought at 143 pounds and Romero did fight at 140 pounds in his one-sided win over Sergio Torres on November 28. 

Romero will sit down with his team on what would be the next move, but he must take care of business tonight against Rodriguez. An impressive win would create more opportunities for Romero. 

“I can fight in both weight classes. It depends on what is presented to me.

“(Tonight) is a great opportunity and I want to do my best. I want to do well and show what I’m capable of. I’m grateful for Promociones del Pueblo and being able to fight on a great card.” 

Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at santio89@yahoo.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing