Rolando Romero can’t say Isaac Cruz did enough to upset Gervonta Davis in their 12-round fight December 5.
Romero credits Cruz for exposing weaknesses in Davis’ game, though, that the undefeated contender is confident he’ll exploit when they square off Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Cruz caught Davis with the type of flush punches that made Davis wary of getting hit, according to Romero, who considers himself a bigger puncher than the heavy-handed Davis.
The 26-year-old Romero explained what he witnessed in that fight to Premier Boxing Champions’ Ray Flores during an open workout recently at Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas.
“He got his ass beat,” Romero said, “and he showed that he’s extremely vulnerable – and that he’s scared of people that can crack.”
Baltimore’s Davis went 12 rounds for the first time on his way to a unanimous points victory over Cruz, who replaced Romero on five weeks’ notice in that Showtime Pay-Per-View main event. Cruz also ended Davis’ 16-fight knockout streak 5½ months ago at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Davis aggravated an existing injury to his left hand early in that bout, but Cruz pressured him for most of their fight and won five rounds apiece on two scorecards. Judges Carla Caiz and Max De Luca scored Davis a 115-113 winner, whereas judge Zachary Young credited Davis for winning eight rounds, 116-112.
Caesars Sportsbook still has installed Davis (26-0, 24 KOs) as a 10-1 favorite over Romero (14-0, 12 KOs). Romero, of North Las Vegas, Nevada, has knocked out 86 percent of his opponents, but most objective observers believe Dominican contender Jackson Marinez (then 19-0) outboxed him in a 12-round fight Romero officially won by unanimous decision in August 2020 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Romero still became the WBA’s number one contender in the lightweight division. The WBA ordered Davis to fight him last year, but organizers of their December 5 bout removed Romero from their fight after an acquaintance reported to police in Henderson, Nevada late last October that Romero sexually assaulted her at some point in the fall of 2019.
Detectives investigated that alleged assault, but Romero was not charged with a crime. His shot at Davis’ secondary championship was therefore rescheduled.
The former amateur judo standout is certain he’ll be able to do to Davis what Mexico City’s Cruz couldn’t accomplish.
“I mean, Tank didn’t perform as well that fight,” Romero told Showtime’s Brian Custer for an episode of Custer’s “The Last Stand Podcast” earlier this year. “But, I mean, a lot of people say Isaac Cruz won the fight and all that stuff. I don’t think he won the fight. I think Tank won that fight convincingly, you know? Regardless of his performance, it’s just he had a difficult fight with some dude that he thought he could get out of there and he couldn’t get out of there.”
Davis-Romero will headline another Showtime Pay-Per-View event Saturday night. The four-fight offering is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. ET and costs $74.99.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.