In a period where numerous fighters are rising up to becoming future stars in the sport, Rolando Romero might be the next star.
While defining a star varies on multiple factors, one thing that has always been a constant is can that star deliver in action? Look no further than Romero’s last performance back on March 9. In front of an eager crowd in Carson, California, Romero needed less than one minute to take out Nicolas Velazquez to improve his pro record to 8-0, picking up his seventh knockout win.
The sequence that led to the knockout was one not seen in many prospects. Romero patiently waited for his opportunity, then hunted Velazquez down and hit him with a series of rights that, as he described, not only knocked Velazquez out, but also shattered his face.
“It was a great knockout, I got in there and got out quick. The uppercut opened him up and then the hook landed and the right hand, I timed it perfectly and I shattered his nose. He had a rag [on his nose] and the second he let it go, like a liter of blood fell out of his nose. I’ve never seen anything like that," Romero told Fightful in an exclusive interview.
Perhaps the more astonishing thing is that he called it the third-best knockout of his short career thus far. More than anything, it’s a sign of Romero being a knockout artist so early into his career.
Although the 23-year-old from Las Vegas is looking to keep impressing fans with his highlight-reel performances, it’s perhaps his confidence that is the most defining feature of him. Competing in a loaded lightweight division that features established stars such as Vasiliy Lomachenko, Richard Commey, Mikey Garcia and Robert Easter Jr. as well as rising stars Ryan Garcia, Teofimo Lopez and Devin Haney, Romero believes that he not only has what it takes to reach the top, but do so within a year.
“At the end of this year, I hope to be fighting in a title eliminator and in 2020, fight for a title and then unify the titles at 135. That’s what my plans are for the future," Romero said.
That may be Romero’s goal for the next 12 months, but does he have anything in mind beyond those 12 months? In fact, he has.
With so many fighters of Romero’s current experience looking to just get more fights under their belt, Romero has plan for even 18 months down the road. The always-confident Romero has world title unifications in mind by the time we reach 2021.
“I’m going have a world title belt [by that point]. I would have already gotten my world title and I would probably already be in my first defense around that time and in 2021, I’ll unify all the belts," Romero said.
Before Romero can think about any world title aspirations, he will have to get through his next fight, set for April 20. He will take on Andres Figueroa, who sports a career 9-4 record. Although it isn’t a noteworthy name being put in front of him, Romero does plan on being the talk of the event and called his shot as far as how he is going to win the fight.
“First-round knockout, it’s going to be a hook… If you don’t know me, then you better tune in and you’ll fall in love with me," Romero said.
Romero’s fight against Figueroa will take place on the undercard of the April 20 Premier Boxing Champions card from the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. You can listen to the full interview with Romero in the video at the top of the page.