Romero vs Cruz, not Garcia, reportedly set for Mar. 30


Those of you questioning the credibility of Ryan Garcia’s recent claim that he’d face Rolando Romero on April 20th, pat yourselves on the back.

Mike Coppinger reports that “Rolly” has instead “finalized a deal” to face Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz in the PPV co-feature of Tim Tszyu vs Keith Thurman on March 30th.

Romero (15-1, 13 KO) is contractually obligated to face Ismael Barroso, who knocked out Ohara Davies for the interim title while Romero was on the mend. Ergo, this should be a non-title bout unless Barroso is compensated appropriately.

Whatever the case, he’ll have his hands full with Cruz (25-2-1, 17 KO), who faces his most noteworthy opponent since falling heartbreakingly short against “Tank” Davis in 2021.

The very reliable Jake Donovan noted that said matchup “has been the primary play” and named two additional fights on the card, which is “expected” to be revealed in full today.

One is Erislandy Lara’s (29-3-3, 17 KO) inaugural defense as sole WBA middleweight champion. You’ll recall that the WBA upgraded Lara from secondary titlist last March when Gennadiy Golovkin vacated the “super” belt. Lara’s team initially petitioned for a fight with Danny Garcia on August 5th with the winner then facing mandatory challenger Michael Zerafa (31-4, 19 KO), but said date passed with zero fanfare and it appears that neither side actually made an effort to push that matchup over the finish line.

Zerafa recently raised a very justifiable stink about it, claiming that the step-aside deal basically forced him to spend all of 2023 on the sidelines while Lara and Garcia twiddled their thumbs. The WBA relented, so we’re back to Lara vs Zerafa. Terrible fight, but it’s the modern middleweight division.

In much, much more appealing news, Donovan also reports that Sebastian Fundora (20-1-1, 13 KO) will meet Serhii Bohachuk (23-1, 23 KO) for the interim WBC super welterweight title. This marks Fundora’s first fight since a disastrous knockout loss to Brian Mendoza last April, while Bohachuk is 5-0 since suffering his own out-of-nowhere defeat to Brandon Adams in 2021.

They just got rid of said title when Tszyu beat Brian Mendoza, but I’m not sure anyone knows what Jermell Charlo is up to, so I can see the reasoning. If it means we get twelve rounds of these gangly sluggers beating the stuffing out of each other, I’ll accept whatever trinket they propose.

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