Boxing gave itself a black eye again last night, with an absolutely horrible stoppage by referee Tony Weeks deciding the world title fight between boxers Rolly Romero and Ismail Barroso.
The 40-year-old Barroso, in surely his last shot at a belt, came into the fight on relatively short notice. He had been winning the fight comfortably through the first eight rounds, up on the cards and with a knockdown scored in the third.
In the ninth, Weeks intervened.
Is this the worst boxing stoppage ever?
First, Weeks decided to call a knockdown on what was a very blatant push, as Romero simply shoved Barroso down by the head.
Then, with about 20 seconds left in the round, Weeks just stopped the fight. Barroso wasn’t hurt, he wasn’t covering up, he was exchanging evenly with Romero and landing, if anything, the better shots. There was nothing there to indicate even the possibility of a stoppage. But Weeks decided he was done, so he was done.
That makes Romero, inexplicably, the WBA champion at light welterweight, 140lbs. He did, to his credit, acknowledge that the stoppage was early, telling interviewer Jim Gray he thought Barroso “should have been able to keep going”. Barroso, for his part, called the decision an injustice, and said the referee and officials had been unable to give him a clear reason to stop it when they did.
Fellow boxers outraged
Professional boxers watching the fight were equally furious, with several taking to twitter to express their disdain. Romero’s fellow 140lbers, Ryan Garcia and Joseph Diaz, were among those to weigh in:
Romero said before the fight that, as Rolly Romero, he gets special privileges. With the terrible stoppage, I guess it seems like Tony Weeks agreed.
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