Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Davis-Romero Preview

As most Boxing aficionados know, one of the boots that was supposed to take place last December that was anticipated by some was a Lightweight encounter between undefeated former unified IBF/WBA Jr. Lightweight world champion Gervonta Davis and undefeated Lightweight contender Rolando Romero, which was supposed to take place at the legendary venue then known as the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. Unfortunately as sometimes happens in Boxing, the bout, which was due to headline a Showtime Pay-Per-View promoted card here in the United States did not come to pass as Romero was withdrawn from the scheduled December 5th date due to out of the ring legal troubles that he had to tend to. This created a situation where Davis, who insisted on keeping the scheduled date, had to opt for a substitute opponent in the form of Isaac Cruz, who took the fight on short notice.

In a somewhat surprising fight given the circumstances and the limited time Cruz had to prepare, the bout turned out to be quite competitive and one may even go as far as to say that Cruz was able to provide Davis with a type of test that he had not had to go through in his career thus far in pressuring Davis for all twelve rounds in losing a hard fought unanimous decision. The victory over Cruz as well as Romero’s now resolved issues outside the ring has provided another opportunity for the two to meet inside the ring, which will take place on May 28th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY in a bout once again scheduled to headline a Showtime Pay-Per-View event.

While some might argue that this is a more anticipated fight simply because of the fact that it did not take place last December and thus curiosity has been elevated now that the bout has been rescheduled,  it is important to keep in mind that there is much on the line for both fighters.  Not only both fighters’ respective undefeated records, not only Davis’ Interim/Regular championship designation in the WBA Lightweight rankings, but more specifically a potential opportunity to face the winner of the June 4th Undisputed Lightweight world championship fight between undefeated world champion George Kambosos and undefeated WBC number one contender Devin Haney.

In terms of the styles that both Davis and Romero will bring into the ring with them,  these are two boxers that are known for their ability to end fights quickly,  but as we saw in Gervonta Davis last bout against Isaac Cruz, he has also shown an ability to adapt and can box when he needs to.  Perhaps much of the focus going into this fight could be on Rolando Romero. 

Despite going into this fight unbeaten in fourteen professional fights and having scored knockouts in  twelve of those bouts, he has yet to be in a fight at this level in the sport against a former world champion that like himself is unbeaten.  In thinking of how Romero can be successful in this fight, this observer thought of the consistent pressure Isaac Cruz was able to put on Davis and how he forced him to fight his fight and to be more specific, fight backing up. While it is indisputable that Cruz' approach against Davis led to considerable success,  it should not be overlooked that as that fight progressed, Davis was able to adapt and in the middle and late rounds had turned the ebb and flow of the combat in his favor. 

As this fight approaches,  this observer feels that there is a possibility of a similar fight being fought here. Much like Cruz, Romero is a fighter that likes to come forward and apply pressure on his opponents. While some may argue that Cruz did let Davis off the hook in the middle and late rounds and that was the circumstance that allowed Davis to get himself into a rhythm and eventually take control of the fight in the latter stages of the bout,  Romero is a fighter that likes to apply pressure, but attack in spurts of offense that can be explosive and difficult for opponents to combat. The question that I have in my mind is whether Davis will look to box tactically as he did against Isaac Cruz, or if he will try to bring the fight to Romero in a similar way as he did in his October 2020 fight against Leo Santa Cruz. A fight that he ended with a brutal knockout.

One aspect that tends to work to Romero’s advantage in terms of attacking in spurts is at times,  he will wait for an opponent to initiate an exchange and look to counter them.  In addition to punching power, like Davis,  Romero has good hand speed so this could present a scenario of a short,  but action-packed fight if Davis chooses to fight fire with fire rather than looking to out box Romero. The advantage Davis will have is he has been a world champion and the element of experience can be an important asset in a fight like this as he has been through situations and types of battles that Romero has yet to experience in his career and has done so against a higher level of opposition. 

Whether or not the winner of this fight will be in line to face the winner of what could be at least two fights between George Kambosos and Devin Haney remains to be seen. As has been the case for many years,  the 135lb. Lightweight division remains a focal point for the entire sport.  If recent history is any indication,  there are some very compelling fights coming up and the commonality between both the Davis-Romero and Kambosos-Haney fights is even the most seasoned of Boxing experts cannot say for sure what might happen.  It is such scenarios that truly make Boxing unique and this observer is simply looking forward to seeing how this will all play out. 

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

Davis vs. Romero takes place on Saturday, May 28th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.  The fight will headline a four-bout pay-per-view card broadcast by Showtime Pay-Per-View in the United States beginning at 9PM ET/6PM PT for $74.95. Contact your local cable/ satellite provider for ordering information or visit: www.sho.com/ppv to learn how to order and stream the event online through the Showtime streaming app on mobile, tablet, and connected streaming devices/ platforms/ Smart TVs.

*Check your local listings internationally.

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