Results and highlights from Showtime Boxing: Ismael Barroso is controversially TKO’d by Rolando Romero for the victory and the title.

Romero himself was shocked when referee Tony Weeks decided to stop the action.

When Rolando “Rolly” Romero was clearly given a ninth-round TKO victory against Ismael Barroso to win the vacant WBA junior welterweight title on Saturday night, he may have been the beneficiary of one of the greatest bailouts in boxing history.

Romero faced a 40-year-old late replacement opponent and was consistently outboxed throughout the contest while adopting a passive offensive strategy. Romero’s need to produce some late magic was only heightened when he was knocked out by a left hand from Barroso in the third round as Barroso continued to accumulate rounds on the scorecards.

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As the rounds went by, Barroso continued to have success with left hands to the body and head. Romero generally didn’t seem to be interested in retaliating or truly going on the attack, which allowed Barroso to build rounds on both unofficial and official cards with his steady but undynamic onslaught.

In Round 9, Romero delivered a powerful punch that appeared to briefly stun Barroso, but he then openly threw Barroso to the ground. Romero was put in position for a desperately needed 10-8 round despite the fact that the knockdown was caused by a shove and not a punch by referee Tony Weeks.

Following his recovery, Barroso and Romero started to spar in the corner, with Barroso delivering the more precise blows as Romero attempted to flurry with powerful blows. Weeks then intervened to stop the fight and award Romero the 140-pound world title despite the fact that none of Romero’s strikes connected cleanly and that Barroso once more connected with the better punches.

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On the broadcast and on social media, the reaction to the stoppage was swift, with many claiming that it was among the worst in recent memory, if not in all of boxing history.

Romero had not looked good at any stage in the fight, making it barely a strong comeback performance after Romero was severely knocked out by Gervonta “Tank” Davis in his previous bout. Barroso was ahead on all three official scorecards at the time of the stoppage, and he properly was.

After the battle, Romero said, “I’ll be honest, he’s a warrior and he should have been allowed to continue.” “I boxed continuously. I had a cold when I arrived. When I fell, I got back up like a champion and continued. I moved slowly and looked around. I have to exercise caution around him because he’s a strong man.

Romero’s original opponent, WBA champion Alberto Puello, failed a drug test, giving Barroso the opportunity to challenge for the vacant belt that had been long promised. The WBA promoted Puello to “champion in recess” and gave Barroso a title fight that had been in the works for three years, despite the fact that many questioned Romero’s eligibility for a world title shot in a new weight class following a knockout loss one weight class lower.

When one of boxing’s worst traits, the incompetence of the assigned referees, snatched Barroso’s opportunity to win the world championship at age 40, he appeared to be taking full advantage of the opportunity.

After the battle, Barroso said through an interpreter, “I think it was unfair to stop this fight.” “He didn’t say anything; he just stopped the battle. He didn’t hit me with anything especially clear. Then he broke up the conflict. We don’t comprehend.