By Dan Ambrose: WBA light welterweight champion Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero’s trainer’s trainer, Bullet Cromwell, doesn’t see any value in his fighter facing his WBA-ordered mandatory challenger Ohara Davies next and wants either a rematch with Gervonta Davis or the popular Ryan Garcia.
The World Boxing Association has already ordered Rolly to fight Ohara, and the only way to avoid this fight is for the British fighter to be given a step aside.
However, this decision seems unrealistic since there is no possibility for Rolly to fight Tank or Ryan. Those guys are heading in a different direction toward more lucrative fights.
The money that the currently injured 27-year-old Rolly could make fighting Tank Davis or Golden Boy-promoted Ryan Garcia is far greater than he would get facing the obscure British fighter Ohara Davies (25-2, 28 KOs).
A rematch with Tank isn’t a realistic option for Rolly at this time, as the Baltimore native is rumored to be fighting Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz in the first quarter of next year. The casuals would love that fight, as Cruz has a good following in his native Mexico.
Ryan Garcia is an unlikely option as well for Rolly because his promoter Oscar De La Hoya is speaking with Top Rank boss Bob Arum about matching him against WBO light welterweight champion Teofimo Lopez on February 10th during Super Bowl weekend.
Even if that fight doesn’t happen, it’s unrealistic to assume that De La Hoya would put the fragile Ryan in with a brute like Rolly and watch him get taken apart.
Bullet says he doesn’t know who the 31-year-old Ohara is, and he feels he doesn’t bring value to a fight against Rolly (15-1, 13 KOs), who recently captured the World Boxing Association 140-lb title with a controversial ninth round TKO victory over 40-year-old Ismael Barroso last May.
The victory was highly criticized by fans because Barroso was still fighting back, and the last four punches that Rolly threw missed. He was whiffing at the air with his shots when referee Tony Weeks jumped in and stopped it.
Team Rolly wants opponents that bring value
“We’re just waiting to see what’s next for him. The team and the management, we’re not looking for nothing that doesn’t bring no value to Rolly,” said coach Bullet Cromwell to Fighthype when asked who’s next for WBA light welterweight champion Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero.
Regardless of whether Bullet feels that Ohara doesn’t bring value, the rules are the rules. The WBA has ordered Rolly to defend his 140-lb belt against Ohara, and he’s going to have to follow their instructions unless he wants to pay him a step aside.
Again, the fights that Bullet wants for Rolly against Ryan Garcia & Gervonta Davis aren’t there for him right now. As such, it’s pointless for Team Rolly to avoid Ohara unless he has someone else in mind.
“Everybody wants to fight for a belt, but what is your platform, what have you done, how many challenges have you taken on, how many risks have you taken on?” said Bullet.
Ohara beat Lewis Ritson to become the mandatory challenger for the WBA 140-lb belt. Yeah, it’s a low-level win, but that WBA felt it was a good enough victory for Ohara to be made mandatory.
If Rolly doesn’t mind giving up his WBA belt, he can swerve Ohara and fight someone else, but he’s probably not going to do that. Rolly needs the WBA belt to validate him because, otherwise, he’s just some guy who lost to Tank Davis and got a couple of controversial wins over Ismael Barroso and Jackson Marinez.
“Rolly has taken on every risk that was brought to his face, and so
that’s why he’s where he is,” said Bullet. “These guys think that they could cherry-pick. We were really pressing the line, building Rolly up.
“He never said no, Louie DeCubas never said no, and Floyd [Mayweather] never said no [to an opponent] in the beginning, and then we got PBC. It’s the same thing.
Ohara Davies not well known
“So opponent-wise, we’re just looking for the right opponent that’s going to bring some a** to the event and sell some seats and make it a good payday and a challenging fight,” said Bullet.
“I don’t even know who the hell he is,” said Bullet about Rolly’s WBA mandatory Ohara Davies, who he’s expected to defend against next. “I had to go find him. Do you understand what I’m saying? No disrespect to the man, but in today’s day, this is in 2023. This ain’t 1983. We need to know who you are. We need the fans.”
The cold, brutal reality is Rolly Romero is a textbook definition of a manufactured paper champion who has no business holding onto a major world title.
Rolly isn’t viewed as a true champion in the eyes of many hardcore boxing fans, as they saw his victory over 40-year-old Barroso as being illegitimate, and there should have been a rematch ordered by the WBA due to the controversy over that fight.
“They come to see Rolly, but we need to bring the people,” said Bullet. “If he brings 50% and we bring 50. Now you have to depend on a great undercard instead of the two main names to the people.”
Bullet seems to have the idea that Rolly should be able to circumvent the rules of the sport based on his popularity. If popular champions are able to pick & choose whoever they want and ignore their mandatory commitments, it makes a mockery of boxing, turning it into a non-sport.
Rolly can fight whoever he wants, but he’s going to have to give up the WBA belt for him to do that because he’s been ordered to defend against his mandatory. If he or his team doesn’t like it, they need to give Ohara a step aside or vacate the WBA strap.
“He [Rolly] needs to be able to utilize his championship belt to fight guys with big names like Ryan Garcia,” said Bullet.
We’re going to do the same thing that everybody who is smart in the sport of boxing does. Fight the people that bring value to the event, and then fight your mandatory,” said Bullet.