LAS VEGAS – Rolando “Rolly” Romero seemingly has little interest in defending his WBA 140-pound title against Ohara Davies.

When asked by about battling Davies next, the newly crowned WBA super lightweight champion repeatedly mentioned that he only wants to face Ryan Garcia in his first title defense. Romero believes a fight against Garcia belongs on pay-per-view, whereas there wouldn’t be nearly as much interest in him facing England’s Davies.

“Me and Ryan Garcia is more important for boxing,” Romero told “Nobody knows who the hell Ohara Davies is. And that’s that. We’re gonna make that fight happen, me and Ryan Garcia.”

Romero might be forced, of course, to make his first title defense versus Davies or risk being stripped of his championship. The WBA announced as part of its agreement to sanction the Romero-Ismael Barroso fight for its vacant 140-pound championship that the winner would have to defend it against Davies within 120 days of their bout.

North Las Vegas’ Romero (15-1, 13 KOs) beat Barroso by ninth-round technical knockout Saturday night at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Referee Tony Weeks’ stoppage was widely considered controversial because Barroso was on his feet and had just grazed Romero with a right hand when Weeks stepped between them to end their 12-round bout at 2:41 of the ninth round.

Barroso also had avoided most of Romero’s punches just before Weeks stopped their fight.

Venezuela’s Barroso (24-4-2, 22 KOs) dropped Romero in the third round. Romero recorded a debatable knockdown of his own early in the ninth round, but Barroso was ahead on all three scorecards entering the ninth round of their “Showtime Championship Boxing” main event (78-73, 77-74, 76-75).

Osmiri Fernandez, Barroso’s manager and trainer, informed that his team will file a protest with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The 40-year-old Barroso’s handlers also will petition the WBA to order an immediate rematch.

Meanwhile, Davies’ team is planning to take legal action if the WBA doesn’t order Romero to make his first championship defense against Davies (25-2, 18 KOs).

“If [the WBA] don’t [order Romero-Davies], then we will proceed with legal proceedings,” Lee Eaton, Davies’ manager, told’s Jake Donovan. “We [have] already been shafted by letting Rolly fight for the vacant title. We ain’t accepting no step-aside fee.”

London’s Davies is ranked second among the WBA’s 140-pound contenders. The 31-year-old Davies has won seven consecutive fights since he lost a 12-round unanimous decision to British southpaw Jack Catterall (26-1, 13 KOs) in October 2018 in Leicester, England.

Romero, 28, entered the ring Saturday night as the WBA’s fifth-ranked contender in the 140-pound division. He fought for its super lightweight title despite that he lost his previous fight, a sixth-round knockout defeate to Gervonta Davis last May 28, and made his debut as a full-fledged 140-pounder Saturday night.

Barroso was the WBA’s number one-ranked, mandatory challenger for its super lightweight title. The strong southpaw replaced Alberto Puello as Romero’s opponent last month because Puello tested positive for clomiphene, a banned substance, in tests administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association.

The WBA downgraded Puello (21-0, 10 KOs) to champion in recess. If the NSAC suspends Puello at his hearing Wednesday, the Dominican southpaw is expected to be stripped of the WBA super lightweight title he won when he beat Batyr Akhmedov by split decision last August 20 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.