You can miss Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero with all of the social media drama.
He’ll just save that nonsense for the other lightweights to handle.
“Everyone in my weight division, they’re a bunch of f---in’ divas,” Romero (11-0, 10KOs) told BoxingScene.com of the growing culture of lightweight contenders and titlists catching Twitter fingers. “Just straight up, they’re a bunch of f---in’ divas. Like, just shut up your f---in’ mouth and fight.”
The 24-year old Las Vegas has largely kept to himself—in real life through social distancing as well as online—during the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Still, Romero managed to pay just enough attention to notice the number of fights proposed through social media by his lightweight peers, only for a grand total of none to materialize.
“They sit around all f---in’ day, tweeting each other and calling each other out.,” notes Romero. “At the end of the day, nothing gets f---in’ done. It’s just a bunch of f---in’ divas. They ain’t about it. They’re a bunch of f---in’ paper champions. I don’t even need to mention anyone’s name. Everybody knows who the hell I’m talking about.”
The main ones caught up in the mix as of late are Devin Haney (24-0, 15KOs), Ryan Garcia (20-0, 17KOs), Jorge Linares (47-5, 29KOs), Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (23-0, 22KOs) and Teofimo Lopez (15-0, 12KOs). Of the group, only Davis and Lopez have solidified big fights (not against each other) awaiting them coming out of the global health crisis.
Garcia caught the attention of Romero and his promoter, legendary former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. at the start of 2019. Then an unbeaten prospect, Garcia—a current rising star with Golden Boy Promotions—was pursuing a showdown with Davis, also a Mayweather Promotions fighter. Mayweather asked him to earn the opportunity to fight Davis, offering to put up $200,000 to fight and beat Romero to which Garcia countered with a demand of a $1,000,000 payday.
The unbeaten lightweight Victorville, California found his name in headlines for all of the wrong reasons as of late. After going back and forth with Haney, Linares and Davis throughout the quarantine period when boxing was at a standstill, Garcia was presented with a chance to headline Golden Boy’s first post-pandemic card which was targeted for July 4. A dispute over the payday and opponent choice instead leaves him sidelined and without much sympathy from anyone in the industry—least of all, any of his divisional rivals.
“Ryan just turned this s--t down on top of the fight purse they offered him to fight me,” Romero recalls. “Floyd was gonna hand him a mill if he knocked me out. He didn’t even f---in’ want it and he wasn’t making anything.
“So he can go f--- himself. We know who the true ones are in this sport.”
Romero is expected to return to the ring this summer, eyeing an unspecified date in August for his first fight since a 2nd round knockout of previously unbeaten Arturs Ahmetovs earlier this year in Las Vegas.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox