Rolando Romero Secures WBA Super Lightweight Title

Rolando Romero

Rolando Romero claimed the WBA super lightweight championship, knocking out Ismael Barroso in the main event live on Showtime.

Rolando Romero rolls to WBA championship

Rolando “Rolly” Romero scored the WBA super lightweight championship with a victory Saturday night live on Showtime.

In the main event from Las Vegas, Romero stopped Ismael Barroso in the ninth round to claim the vacant title.

The judges all had Barroso up going into the round, but the Las Vegas native found his home, flooring the No. 1 contender.

“I’ll be honest, he’s a warrior and he should have been allowed to continue,” said Romero, who improved to 15-1 with 13 KOs and became the 89th fighter to perform on SHOBOX: The New Generation to go onto capture a world title. “He wanted to keep going and 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 and when the fight resumed both fighters traded punches with Romero connecting on a powerful right, but missing on a left hook before Weeks stepped in and called the fight.

Barroso, who stepped in on short notice, replacing Alberto Puello, disagreed with the stoppage.

“I think it was an injustice to stop the fight,” said Barroso, a late replacement after  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, and he didn’t say anything. You can see it clearly. 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.”

Rances Barthelemy earns 30th career victory

In the co-main event, Rances Barthelemy (30-2-1, 15 KOs) bounced back from a stoppage loss last July to Gary Antuanne Russell to pick up an unpopular majority decision against Omar Juarez (14-2, 5 KOs) in a super lightweight bout.

The former world champion at 130 and 135 pounds, Cuba’s Barthelemy started quickly and ended it the same way as he won the first and second round and the ninth and 10th rounds on all three judges’ cards. The scores were 95-95, 97-93 and 98-92 in favor of Barthelemy.

The crowd at The Chelsea rained down boos after the decision was read as many thought that Juarez had done enough to win the fight.

“I understand that most of the fans are Mexican here and they were going for Juarez,” Barthelemy said. “But I also had my Cuban fans and they were cheering.”

Kenneth Sims wins title-eliminator

In the telecast opener, Kenneth Sims Jr., (20-2-1, 7 KOs) moved one step closer to a first world title shot as he out-dueled fellow top super lightweight contender Batyr Akhmedov (9-3, 8 KOs) in a thrilling WBA super lightweight title eliminator that ended in a majority decision in favor of Sims, 116-112, 115-113 and 114-114. 

After the verdict was read by Jimmy Lennon Jr., Sims collapsed to the canvas and then sobbed into his father and trainer Kenneth Sims Sr.’s, chest following the biggest win of the 29-year-old’s career.

“This is what I’ve been waiting on for years,” said Sims, who won for the seventh straight fight. “I’m not supposed to be here right now. That’s what they say. Ain’t nobody thought I would be here right now. And I know that I’m the best so at 140 it’s whatever. I’m ready for anyone.”

Rolando Romero-Ismael Barroso Fight Highlights

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