UNCASVILLE, Connecticut – There was a time Friday afternoon that Rolando Romero thought he would fight at the junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds Saturday night.
That didn’t happen because an overweight Justin Pauldo was declared unfit to fight Romero by the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation. Romero instead stopped late replacement Avery Sparrow, who weighed in closer to the lightweight limit (136 pounds) before their scheduled 12-rounder at Mohegan Sun Arena.
The more Romero thinks about it, though, the WBA interim lightweight champion might be better off moving up to the 140-pound division permanently.
“I’m still the most avoided fighter at lightweight – by far,” Romero told BoxingScene.com. “Nobody mentions my name. Everybody’s scared to even talk about me. The belt-holders, everybody, they don’t wanna hear anything about me. And that’s what I want. Even people getting title shots don’t wanna take it. I might have to move up to 140 and go after 140-pounders now, because the 135-pounders are all p-ssies.”
As much time as they spend taunting one another on social media, the brash Romero (13-0, 11 KOs) doesn’t think the young champions in the loaded lightweight division are going to fight any time soon.
“Everyone is saying 135 is the best weight class right now,” Romero said. “It’s the most hyped-up, bullsh-t weight class there is. Everybody is a p-ssy in that division and they don’t wanna fight nobody. The only person in that division that grabbed his balls and fought the best was Teofimo. And we see how that went for him – it went great.”
Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) captured three more lightweight titles when he upset Ukrainian southpaw Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) by unanimous decision in their 12-round, 135-pound championship unification fight October 17 at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. The 23-year-old Lopez wants to fight Gervonta Davis (24-0, 23 KOs), Ryan Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) or Devin Haney (25-0, 15 KOs), yet he might move up to the 140-pound division soon if Lopez can’t secure any of those bouts.
Garcia has continuously called out Davis since Garcia knocked out Luke Campbell (20-4, 16 KOs) in the seventh round January 2 at American Airlines Center in Dallas. Haney insists that he, too, would fight Davis, Garcia or Lopez.
Las Vegas’ Romero doesn’t envision any of those matchups materializing in the foreseeable future.
“They don’t wanna fight each other – none of ‘em,” Romero said. “The only person that’s pressing to make the fights happen and wants the fights to happen is me. And Teofimo already got his, and he did his. He’s allowed to take the easy route now. But all these other motherf---ers, we got an email champion, we got a fat boy that, you know, beat up a old dude. We got two other titlists.
“We got Ryan Garcia, which I do believe he fought like a man when he fought Campbell. He fought great and he has the best win at the lightweight division behind Teofimo. But nobody wants to fight nobody else, and it’s bullsh-t. Hopefully, I get a [former] champion or something, and I get a fight. Because I know I am not fighting any of them, because they’re scared of me. So, that’s that.”
Romero is not normally mentioned in the same category as Lopez, Davis, Garcia and Haney, but he was impressive in defeating Philadelphia’s Sparrow (10-3, 3 KOs, 1 NC). He dropped Sparrow with a left hook 40 seconds into their fight and was winning by the same huge margin, 60-51, on all three scorecards when Sparrow’s corner men stopped their fight 43 seconds into the seventh round due to Sparrow’s right knee injury.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.