Rolando Romero is a champion…
The 24-year-old Latino boxer defeated Jackson Marinez by unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort in Connecticut to become the new interim WBA lightweight champion.
The judges scored the fight 115-113, 116-112 and 118-110 for Romero.
But the victory didn’t come without controversy, as Marinez outlanded Romero and appeared to control the majority of the rounds.
The hard-hitting Romero (12-0, 10 KOs) came out fast, throwing punches with bad intentions from the very beginning, but the savvy Marinez (19-1, 7 KOs) was able to evade most of those attacks and soon he was controlling things with his jab.
There wasn’t much sustained action as the fight fell into a familiar pattern. Romero would throw punches with all his might, miss most of them, then Marinez would land a few jabs and the occasional right hand.
“I don’t think I had a bad performance,” Romero said. “I thought I won the fight. Regardless of everything, I’m the world champ now. I’m happy.
“He came out a little bit tougher and slicker than what I thought. But all he did was move around the entire fight. He didn’t even try to engage so it’s hard to knock out someone who doesn’t want to get knocked out or doesn’t try to engage. I hurt him multiple times, with body shots, with a few hooks. There was one moment I hurt him with a right hand and he pulled my head down. It was hard to finish him off because I hurt him a lot at the end of the rounds.”
Marinez outlanded Romero 103-86 in total punches and appeared to outbox him for much of the night.
“That was pure robbery,” Marinez said. “I won the fight. I out-jabbed [him], outboxed him. You could tell he didn’t think he won the fight right afterwards. It’s a robbery.”