LAS VEGAS – Gervonta Davis officially needs a new opponent for December 5.
A Showtime spokesman confirmed Monday what BoxingScene.com and several other outlets reported Saturday night, that Rolando “Rolly” Romero has been removed from a fight that was supposed to headline a Showtime Pay-Per-View event four weeks from Sunday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Romero’s removal from their WBA world lightweight title fight was the consequence of a sexual assault allegation made by Izabel Zambrano, with whom Romero is a longtime acquaintance.
Zambrano, 24, gave a statement Friday night to the Henderson (Nevada) Police Department regarding an alleged sexual assault that took place at some point in the fall of 2019, according to what Zambrano told Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix. Romero, 26, has not been charged with a crime, but the official filing of a police report accelerated the search for Romero’s replacement because he is under investigation for sexual assault.
Davis’ new opponent hadn’t been secured as of Monday afternoon, but Mexican contender Isaac Cruz (21-1-1, 15 KOs) is believed to be the frontrunner to challenge Davis (25-0, 24 KOs) for his secondary WBA 135-pound crown. Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) holds the WBA “super” lightweight title and is considered the WBA’s legitimate champion in that division.
Nonetheless, the 26-year-old Davis is a knockout artist who has emerged as one of the reliable ticket-sellers among American boxers and a regular “A” side in pay-per-view fights. His bout against Romero (14-0, 12 KOs) was considered a grudge match because there is genuine bad blood between two boxers who are represented by Floyd Mayweather’s promotional company.
Romero generated headlines for his boorish behavior during the press conference that kicked off the Davis-Romero promotion October 21 outside of Staples Center.
Barely a week later, his removal from their showdown seemed all but a certainty once Zambrano publicly detailed her incident with Romero through her Twitter account. A day after speaking to police in Henderson, she told Mannix she didn’t come forward before late last week because she was “really scared.”
Zambrano determined it was time to speak out once she saw Romero “glorified” for his involvement in his fight versus Davis.
“It just seemed like he was everywhere,” Zambrano told Mannix. “I went to YouTube to turn on a video [for] my daughter, I see a video of him. I go on Twitter, I see a video of him. I go on Facebook, I see a video of him. I turn on the TV … I didn’t realize I had PTSD from that night. I was so confused and so ashamed that I had put myself in a position like that. Now, I’m very triggered by what happened. I can no longer sit and bottle it up while he gets to live this life and be glorified and no one’s voice is heard.”
Zambrano also has taken offense to backlash on Twitter since she went public with her story Thursday night.
“People are calling me a gold-digger, a clout-chaser and so many things like that,” Zambrano said. “All these things people are saying about me are not true. They have just been disgusting. This is something I have struggled with in silence. I had to speak up.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.