UNCASVILLE, Connecticut – Justin Pauldo was as surprised as virtually everyone else when Rolando Romero was announced as the winner of his last fight.
Pauldo thought Jackson Marinez deserved the victory August 15, when Romero surprisingly won their 12-round, 135-pound interim championship match on all three scorecards at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Romero somehow won 10 rounds on the scorecard of judge Frank Lombardi, who scored Romero a 118-110 victor even though Marinez unofficially landed 17 more punches, according to CompuBox.
“I don’t think I seen it too much different from anybody else,” Pauldo told BoxingScene.com. “I kinda thought he was out-boxed. He maybe won a few rounds, but I thought the other guy did enough to win. But hey, this guy, he came out on top, he got the belt and I’m coming to take it.”
Houston’s Pauldo (14-1, 7 KOs) is set to challenge Las Vegas’ Romero (12-0, 10 KOs) for the WBA interim lightweight title Saturday night in the first of three fights Showtime is set to televise from Mohegan Sun Arena (9 p.m. ET; 6 p.m. PT). Despite Romero’s controversial victory over Marinez (19-1, 7 KOs) five months ago, Pauldo isn’t concerned about being treated unfairly on the scorecards against an opponent promoted by Floyd Mayweather’s company.
“We all understand how the game go, and sometimes that the right guy don’t get the decision,” Pauldo said. “But that’s something that I can’t be concerned with, that I can’t focus on. I have to just stay 110-percent focused on being my best, my absolute best, every second of every round, and I’ll come out on top.”
The 26-year-old Pauldo completely out-classed Nicaragua’s Josec Ruiz in his last fight, an eight-rounder FS1 televised August 29 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Pauldo defeated Ruiz (21-4-3, 14 KOs) by big margins on all three scorecards (80-72, 79-73, 79-73).
Pauldo expects to beat Romero convincingly, too.
“He’s a good fighter, I guess,” Pauldo said. “But I feel like I’m the more rounded fighter, more fundamentally sound. I’m the better boxer, the smarter boxer, the faster boxer. I’ve got more tools in the bag, and I feel like my boxing experience and my fundamentals, it’ll all prove to be better and I’ll be able to come out on top in this fight. He does some things good and he does some things bad, but hey, I’m coming to win.”
Following Romero-Pauldo, Showtime will televise a 12-round, 122-pound bout between Ra’esse Aleem (17-0, 11 KOs), of Muskegon, Michigan, and Vic Pasillas (16-0, 9 KOs), of Redwood City, California, for the WBA interim super bantamweight championship. In the 12-round main event, Angelo Leo (20-0, 9 KOs), of Albuquerque, New Mexico, will make the first defense of his WBO junior featherweight title against Philadelphia’s Stephen Fulton (18-0, 8 KOs), Leo’s mandatory challenger.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.