Rolly Romero TKO9 Ismael Barroso...
Referee Tony Weeks stopped a world title fight in round nine without a clean punch being landed
, which allowed Rolly Romero to score a technical knockout victory over Ismael Barroso to become the new WBA junior welterweight champion. It was a shameful stoppage. The 40 year-old Barroso was ahead on all three scorecards at the time, 78-73, 77-74 and 76-75. The WBA should order an immediate rematch. The broadcaster, Showtime Championship Boxing, should use its power of the purse by insisting it will not broadcast another Romero fight unless it is a rematch vs. Barroso.
Unfortunately, Showtime's chief boxing executive Stephen Espinoza does not seem inclined to use his power to help a corrupt sport. Espinoza admitted it was a bad stoppage, but shrugged off the controversy on social media, tweeting, "You don't blame ESPN or Fox for bad NFL calls. You don't blame Turner or ESPN for bad NBA calls.You know the network can't influence the judges."
Even Romero admitted in his post-fight interview, "I'll be honest... he should have been able to keep going... we both wanted to keep going." Barroso scored a third-round knockdown
and held a slight lead in total punches landed through eight rounds. In round nine, Romero was credited by Weeks with a questionable knockdown that was actually more of a push
. Barroso got up and was admittedly on unsteady legs, but he was throwing punches and not getting hit when Weeks inexplicably ended the fight.
Respected trainer Kevin Cunningham chimed in on Twitter: "Rolly was losing the fight, he pushed Barroso down and Weeks calls it a knockdown. Barroso scored the more significant punches in the last exchange. Weeks jumps in and stops the fight. I’ve been involved in this sport for over 30 years and this was down right criminal."