Romero gets a gift, Marinez is a victim of bad judging
TMT fighter Rolando “Rolly” Romero (11-0, 10ko) looked to finally make a splash and be mentioned among the top fighters in the lightweight division. His assignment, fighting for the Interim WBA title, was first to get past Dominican boxer Jackson “El Fenix” Marinez (19-0, 7ko). This is a chance for the TMT fighter to make some noise and prove why he should be taken seriously when calling out the top guys.
Shades of Floyd Mayweather vs Diego Corrales appeared in this fight. The smaller Romero was jabbing to the body while bending down in hopes of catching the more experienced Dominican fighter with something big upstairs. He was throwing everything with bad intentions but was having trouble with the taller opponent.
However, Marinez wasn’t bothered at all. He utilized the significant height and reach advantage to keep the fight in the center of the ring. He also found a home for the jab and landed the counter left on an offensively over-committed Romero.
THE MIDDLE ROUNDS
Lead trainer Robert Garcia wasn’t able to be in the corner for the Marinez after testing positive for COVID-19. However, it became clear the teaching was sound and well-executed. The taller Dominican started finding his rhythm and proving to be the more pure boxer while Rolly was looking to land one big punch.
Marinez used his footwork and defense to avoid being hit on the ropes by hard punches. He countered with good combination punches, mixing up the attack with body, head, and uppercuts attacks. The frustration started to build with the TMT power puncher. However, he was able to land some nice body shots while using the famous Mayweather shoulder roll to land a right, left hook combination. Still, the Dominican was unfazed, landing three- and four-punch combinations in response to show his opponent. This was going to be a long night.
The eighth round was filled with action. Marinez started to take some chances leaving himself open for some powerful left and right hook counters. His response was a nice three punch combination, mixing it up by going to the body and doubling up on the hooks upstairs.
Before the bell sounded, both men had their moments. Romero punctuated the round with a hard right that momentarily stunned his opponent, then landed a body shot. However, the more experienced Dominican used his superior footwork to avoid further damage.
Realizing that he may have lost the eighth round, Marinez came out blazing. He came off being the more aggressive fighter, building off that long jab, throwing uppercuts, and bully the TMT fighter against the ropes with hard body shots.
Then a cut appeared over on the left eye of Romero and this is where the Dominican fighter took control. Letting the hands go, he ripped off a perfectly timed one-two punch combinations while dodging punches. He would end the round with a hard right to the body.
THE CLOSING ROUNDS
As the fight was coming to a close, it was apparent that Marinez was in a groove. He built everything off the jab, doubling and tripling the jab. The Dominican boxer was able to get off first as Romero was telegraphing his punches. Being able to see them coming, he landed the lead right before ducking under, then followed up with short body shots.
Romero showed grit, going twelve rounds for the first time. Landing a hard right hand didn’t bother his opponent, as Marinez responded again with a tough jab and hooks to the body before using his footwork to get out of the way of any return fire.
After going the distance, anybody watching the fight would have bet money El Fenix would get the nod. However, in boxing, you have to expect the unexpected. All three judges scored it unanimous 115-113, 116-112, 118-110 for Rolando “Rolly” Romero. That last scorecard is highly disrespectful and an insult to any boxing enthusiast’s intelligence. It is a scorecard you completed in the parking lot before entering the building.
Romero is now the new Interim WBA champion. However, after a performance like this, the TMT fighter isn’t ready for the upper echelon fighters in the division.
By: Garrisson Bland