Usually noted as one of the best officials in boxing, Tony Weeks had a horrible night at the Rolando Romero vs Ismael Barroso clash.
Weeks stepped in without a single punch being landed as Romero backed Barroso into the corner.
The hard-hitting “Rolly” fulfilled his lifelong dream of winning a world championship as the native Las Vegan. However, it was a tainted win.
Romero recorded a highly controversial ninth-round TKO against number-one contender Ismael Barroso when trailing on all three judges’ scorecards.
After referee Weeks halted the fight prematurely, Romero captured the vacant WBA title at 140 pounds. WBN was ringside to witness the action on Saturday night live on SHOWTIME from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Romero vs Barroso headlined a Premier Boxing Champions event.
A year after he last stepped into the ring and suffered his first career loss, Romero’s arms were raised as “the new” world champion.
The 27-year-old survived a third-round knockdown. He returned fire to hand the 40-year-old Barroso (24-4-2, 22 KOs) a shocking defeat.
Tony Weeks stops the fight
Unfathomably, Weeks waved off the contest at 2:41 of the ninth round.
After the fight, Romero seemed a little embarrassed.
“I’ll be honest. He’s a warrior. He should have been allowed to continue,” said Romero, who improved to 15-1 with 13 KOs. “He wanted to keep going. I wanted him to keep going as well.”
In his first fight at 140 pounds, Romero landed a powerful, pushing left hook that sent Barroso to the canvas in the ninth.
When the fight resumed, both fighters traded punches, with Romero connecting on a powerful right but not on the chin. He then missed a left hook before Weeks stepped in and called the fight.
“The first punch was when I had him hurt, to begin with,” Romero said. “It was right on the nose. It was a little clip.”
Rolando Romero down on the cards
Romero was down on all three scorecards at the stoppage: 78-73, 77-74, 76-75.
“I think it was an injustice to stop the fight,” said Barroso, a late replacement after Alberto Puello, who previously held the WBA 140-pound title, had been stripped of his title because of a failed VADA test.
“I was landing the better shots. It was a push on the first knockdown. It wasn’t a big blow or anything.
“The referee just stopped the fight. He didn’t say anything. You can see it. I’m the one who’s hitting him.
“There was nothing clear that he hit me with. I don’t understand why they stopped the fight.”
Barroso outlanded Romeo 57-40 and threw 297 punches to 230 for Romero.
A strong Barroso dropped Romero in the third round’s waning seconds. Romero touched the canvas for just the second time in his career. Gervonta Davis also knocked him out left in his last fight a year ago.
“I boxed the entire time,” said Romero, the second Las Vegas native to win a world title along with Ishe Smith. “I came in a little cold. But I got cracked. I got up like a champion and kept going.”
Romero was clear about his future intentions after the fight. “There are only two fights I want,” he said. “There’s the rematch with Tank Davis.
“But I think there’s a much bigger option. I want to go after Ryan Garcia. We can do it on Showtime PPV.”