The Rolando Romero-Ohara Davies WBA junior welterweight title fight will head to a purse bid hearing.
BoxingScene.com has learned that the ordered 30-day negotiation period between parties ended without a deal being reached. The two sides had until June 29 to come to an agreement for their mandatory title fight but no real progress was made, which has forced the WBA to send the matter to a purse bid.
The session will made available to all WBA-registered promoters. Romero is entitled to the favorable end of a 75/25 split as the defending titleholder.
Romero (15-1, 13KOs) claimed the vacant WBA 140-pound title with a ninth-round stoppage of Venezuela’s Ismael Barroso on May 13 at The Cosmopolitan in his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada. He was originally due to face then-defending titleholder Alberto Puello (21-0, 10KO), who was forced out of the Showtime main event after he tested positive for the banned substance Clomiphene.
Puello—who was issued a backdated six-month suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission on June 20—was replaced by Barroso, who dropped Romero in round three and led on all three scorecards through eight rounds. The fateful round nine saw referee Tony Weeks credit Romero with a knockdown that was caused by a push and then stopthe fight despite Barroso still clear headed and having not absorbed a single punch during the final exchange.
Because Romero was not a mandatory challenger and won a vacant title, he is now locked int to honor against the next leading contender to avoid being stripped of the belt.
That demand comes in lieu of any plans for Romero to next defend versus Ryan Garcia (23-1, 19KOs). The matchup was floated by both boxers and met with favorable reaction, though with the lack of awareness regarding the already established mandatory challenger process. Romero also called for a rematch with Baltimore’s Gervonta Davis, who won their WBA ‘Regular’ lightweight title fight via sixth-round knockout last May 28 in Brooklyn, New York.
Neither that fight nor one with Garcia can happen unless Romero vacates, as his mandatory challenger refuses to stand down from his owed title shot.
Davies (25-2, 18KOs) was guaranteed the next shot at the WBA title currently in Romero’s possession. He earned the mandatory ranking with a ninth-round knockout of countryman Lewis Ritson in a March 4 title eliminator in Ritson’s hometown of Newcastle, England. The win was his seventh in a row since a twelve-round, unanimous decision defeat to countryman Jack Catterall who was unbeaten at the time of their October 2018 clash.
The lone other defeat suffered by Davies came in a seventh-round stoppage of Josh Taylor in their July 2017 battle of unbeaten prospects.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox