Danny Roman braced for Ricardo Espinoza challenge, determined to secure Akhmadaliev rematch

Danny Roman believes he’s the most effective junior featherweight on this planet. However as assured as he’s, Roman, who’s rated No.2 by The Ring at 122 pounds, needs to show it by regaining his world title belts.

First, Roman should get previous hard-hitting Ricardo Espinoza Saturday evening at Dignity Well being Sports activities Park in Carson, California. The 12-round bout will precede the primary occasion between WBC junior featherweight titleholder Luis Nery and Brandon Figueroa.

Each fights will air stay on Showtime (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT).

Roman (28-3-1, 10 knockouts) final fought on September 26, defeating former junior bantamweight titleholder Juan Carlos Payano by unanimous determination. That battle, which was a WBC eliminator, happened virtually eight months after Roman misplaced a razor-thin split-decision to Murodjon Akhmadaliev.

Regardless of his plans for revenge, Roman refuses to miss Espinoza. His opponent has gained 15 of his final 16 fights, 13 of them by knockout.

“He’s a robust fighter who comes ahead,” Roman informed The Ring. “He involves battle. I simply need to make the required changes for him. I simply need to take issues one step at a time, I don’t overlook anybody or something. Ricardo Espinoza has my undivided consideration for Saturday evening.

“As a lot as I would really like a rematch towards Murodjon or any of the highest fighters, I perceive the politics within the sport. I’m prepared for any alternative. I gained the obligatory for the WBC after I beat Payano. I’m simply ready on that chance or the winner of Nery and Figueroa.”

Roman admits to getting a late begin within the Akhmadaliev battle, one thing he regrets. If a rematch had been to happen, Roman is assured that he cannot solely defeat his conqueror however notch a powerful knockout.

“I began a little bit late,” mentioned Roman, who’s promoted by Thompson Boxing. “I ought to’ve began letting my palms go within the third spherical. I ought to’ve began placing the strain on from the start. There have been instances after I was combating his battle. I don’t suppose I misplaced. I simply need to respect the judges’ determination. I gave Murodjon an opportunity and I would like that chance in return.

“I don’t suppose he’s higher than me. I do know I can beat and cease him.”

Roman catches Ryo Matsumoto with an uppercut on his approach to a unanimous determination in Tokyo. Photograph by Naoki Fukuda

Previous to the loss to Akhmadaliev, Roman had gained his earlier 19 bouts since shedding an in depth determination to Juan Reyes in October 2013. At that time, Roman was at a crossroads in his private life, even considering hanging up his gloves for good.

The 31-year-old regrouped following the loss to Reyes and determined to rededicate himself to the game.

“That point formed me to be the person I’m,” mentioned Roman. “These losses, early on, molded me to be who I’m in the present day. I used to be put in towards prime competitors. It helped me in the long term.

“After the loss to Ivan Reyes I considered retiring. It was onerous for my supervisor to get fights for me. At the moment, I used to be working at a quick meals restaurant in Los Angeles. I simply stored telling my supervisor to exit and see what he may discover for me. If he couldn’t discover something, I used to be going to be executed with the game. From that yr (2013) I began successful. Every thing began lining up… ultimately me turning into the WBA champion and later turning into the unified champion after I beat [TJ] Doheny.

By the ups and downs, Roman has had coach Eddie Gonzalez by his aspect. Whereas Gonzalez has not obtained the identical accolades as trainers Robert Garcia, Freddie Roach, Eddy Reynoso, Joel Diaz, or Manny Robles, Roman stays greater than happy along with his chief second.

“It feels good,” mentioned Roman. “He’s a wise coach. He has at all times seemed out for me. He has been on my aspect since day one. He’s a great coach, a great man and a great pal. I by no means considered eliminating him. It’s at all times been, we’ve got stuff to work on for me to get higher.”

All going nicely, Roman needs to face any of the obtainable world titleholders, together with WBO king Stephen Fulton, however he reiterated that the Akhmadaliev sequel stays a precedence.

“I proved I’m the most effective, I beat one other world champion (Doheny). Not solely did I drop him twice, however I dominated the battle. That’s the way you beat a champion. He was prepared to battle me. I need to battle any of the champions, I’m simply ready for the chance.

“I’ve unfinished enterprise with Akhmadaliev. I can’t wait to be again on prime.”


Francisco A. Salazar may be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing


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