Ref Gifts Rolando Romero World Title With Highly Controversial Stoppage

Boxing fans were left angered on Saturday night after referee Tony Weeks gifted Rolando Romero the vacant WBA junior welterweight title in a fight he was losing to Ismael Barroso.

Weeks is under fire for stopping the fight in the ninth round and declaring Romero the winner via TKO, despite Barroso continuing to fight and not seeming to be hurt.

At the time of the inexplicable stoppage, Romero was losing on every judges’ scorecard (76-75,  77-74 and 78-73) and was dropped by Barroso in the third round. The end to the contest was so bizarre that even Romero, who’s first world title win is marred in controversy, admitted that the fight should have went on.

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“I’m gonna be honest, he’s a warrior, he wanted to keep going, he should have been able to keep going. We both wanted it to keep going,” Romero said right after the fight. “I came in a little cold, I got cracked, and I finished the round like a champion. I kept going and got the victory.” I took my time, moved around. The man’s strong, man. I had to be careful with him,” he admitted.

The 27-year old Romero, who was a 10-1 favorite over the 40-year old Barroso, looked sluggish as he was chased around the ring for the majority of the fight until out of nowhere, the veteran ref stopped the fight at the 2:41 mark of round 9, which resulted in the crowd inside Las Vegas’ Cosmopolitan erupting in boos.

Both the referee and head of the Nevada commission refused to turn up for an interview. As for Barroso, he seemed just as perplexed as the audience.

“I think it was an injustice to stop this fight,” Barroso said via translator. “He just stopped the fight and didn’t tell me anything. There was nothing clear he hit me with (during the final bit of action). Then he stopped the fight. We don’t understand.”

BoxingfightsliveIsmael BarrosoRolando RomeroTony Weeks