Floyd Mayweather contender Rolando Romero failed to enhance his reputation further and should have suffered a first career defeat on Saturday night.
The TMT fighter scored a unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Jackson Maríñez. In the process, Romero claimed the interim WBA lightweight title.
Romero vs Marinez was the co-main event to David Benavidez vs Alexis Angulo. Showtime Scores were 115-113, 116-112, and 118-110, all in favor of Romero.
Those cards certainly don’t represent what took place in the ring. Afterward, there was an outpouring of disgust at the manner of the result.
The story of the fight was Maríñez’s reliable jabs as the Dominican fighter won the battle in that department (14 percent compared to Romero’s 10 percent).
It was Romero, however, who held the advantage on power punches connecting on 24 percent (31 of 228) compared to 18 percent for Maríñez (72 of 401).
Overall, Marinez landed more than twice as many punches.
In the aftermath, Romero discussed his performance after confidently predicting a brutal knockout in his pre-fight comments.
“I don’t think I had a bad performance. I thought I won the fight,” said the Floyd Mayweather boxer. “Regardless of everything, I’m the (interim) world champ now. I’m happy.”
Romero suffered a slight cut above his left eye in the ninth round on a head butt, but it didn’t seem to affect his performance in the championship rounds.
“He came out a little bit tougher and slicker than what I thought,” Romero added. “But all he did was move around the entire fight. He didn’t even try to engage.
“It’s hard to knock out someone who doesn’t try to engage. I hurt him multiple times with body shots and a few hooks.
“There was one moment I hurt him with a right hand and he pulled my head down. It was just hard to finish him off.”
Asked whether he’d give Marinez a return, Romero concluded: “Yeah. He didn’t do anything special.”
The 29-year-old Maríñez, who holds the WBA’s No. 6 ranking, is trained by Robert Garcia. The respected coach was not present in the Maríñez’s corner after electing not to travel cross country from his Southern California home.
Marinez was clearly raging at the decision, though.
“That was pure robbery,” Maríñez said. “I won the fight. I out-jabbed, out-boxed him. You could tell he didn’t think he won the fight right afterward. It’s a robbery.”
Comments on social media about ‘Rolly’ included one branding Mayweather’s latest interim champion a hype job.
“So Rolly gets the win. In my opinion, it should have been a draw or a loss for Rolly,” they said. “But his skills definitely don’t match his hype.
“I know he is only eleven fights in but there is no way he mixes it with @Gervontaa or @KingRyanG. He’s not at that level. Very square, standing forward and open.”