In the co-main event to Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castano, Rolando Rolly Romero delivered another impressive knockout, flooring Anthony Yigit three times on his way to a seventh-round TKO victory.
With the victory, “Rolly” retained his WBA Interim World Lightweight Title.
Romero controlled the action throughout, punishing southpaw Yigit to the head and body.
“I won’t rate my performance, but I got a vicious knockout, and I hurt him multiple times in the fight. Every time I landed something, I hurt him,” said Romero.
“The European style is always awkward, and he was a bigger dude. He’s a 140-pounder. If I had those extra five pounds, I would have got him out of there earlier.”
“I knew he was going to come in strong and kind of force it,” said Yigit. “So, I tried to pace myself at the beginning to see where I had him.
“He was very aggressive, and he knew how to utilize all his strengths. Fair play to him.”
The first knockdown occurred in the fifth when, immediately after having a point deducted for hitting on the break, Romero sent Yigit crumpling to the canvas with a short right to the temple. Yigit rose to his feet on wobbly legs and was saved by a bell that rang moments later.
“He was hurt [in the fifth], but the bell rang, so I didn’t have time to finish him,” said Romero. “If I had that extra time, I would have got him. He was holding. But he didn’t really want to engage because he was really hurt. He was scared.”
Yigit ate more bombs in the sixth but couldn’t withstand them in the seventh as Romero dropped him, this time with a three-punch combination. Romero pounced once Yigit rose, unleashing volleys until a left hook floored Yigit a third time, forcing referee Rafael Ramos to halt the action at 1:54 of the seventh round.
“I wouldn’t mind doing it again,” said Yigit. “He was a tough opponent, and I liked the fight we were having. There is some mutual respect in the ring, and I felt that from him. So, it felt great knowing that I went in the ring, and we respected each other and gave it the best we had.”
“The punches he landed clean, I saw them coming,” said Romero.” I have to work on more combinations. I had a bad camp – at the beginning, I hurt both my ankles and right hand. I was in a car accident a week and a half ago. My body was still sore from that, yet I still took the fight.
“I need to go to 140. It’s my natural weight class. I feel I’ll be a lot stronger. I was at 135 for, what, four years now? It’s about time I move up.”
Amilcar Vidal Jr. (13-0, 11 KOs) remained unbeaten with a thrilling 10-round majority decision over a determined Immanuwel Aleem in the televised opener on SHOWTIME.
“I thought that was in my favor,” Aleem said. “But I didn’t feel like he won seven rounds. I expected him to be strong, but when we fought on the inside in the later rounds, I thought I won those. When I was moving early on, I didn’t think he had anything on me. I thought I won the later rounds too. If we can, I’d love to run it back.”
“It was a great fight against a really tough opponent, but the fruits of my labor alongside my brother during training camp paid off, and I never lost my cool,” said Vidal. “I believe I was a fair winner, but I am not here to argue about the score. I may have lost my way in a couple of rounds, but I regained control of the fight, and I have as much as I took.”
After a feel-out first round, both fighters began letting their hands go in the second as Aleem (18-3-2, 11 KOs) peppered Vidal with jabs from the outside, and Vidal bore in with heavy shots to the head and body.
Uruguay’s Vidal enjoyed his best round in the sixth, trapping Aleem along the ropes and landing a left hook to the ribs that caused the Richmond, Virginia native to double over in pain. Two more rights snapped Aleem’s head back moments before the bell sounded.
Just when it appeared Vidal had seized control, Aleem roared back in the seventh, keeping the fight at a distance and landing combinations. Aleem enjoyed an even better eighth, momentarily staggering Vidal with a left hook. The see-saw action continued over the final two rounds, both giving as good as they got as the crowd roared their appreciation. In the end, one judge had it even at 95-95, while the two other saw it in favor of Vidal by scores of 97-93.
“As I told you before the press conference, it’s about going step by step,” said Vidal. “We took a major one tonight, and now my promoter will let me know what’s next. I’ll be ready. Uruguay can rest easy knowing Amilcar Vidal is here to stay.”