By: Sean Crose
It shouldn’t have been surprising. It had happened so often over the years, with such regularity, that no one had any right to be taken aback by what was essentially a common occurrence. And yet there fans were Saturday night, lifting their jaws off their living room floors when it was announced Rolando Romero had picked up a unanimous decision win – as well as a WBA interim belt – after going twelve rounds against Jackson Marinez, a man Showtime viewers felt had obviously and clearly won the fight. The displeasure of both fans and analysts was instant and overwhelming.
“They clearly robbed that man,” one Boxing Insider reader wrote. “I’m done with boxing.”
“Mariñez got absolutely robbed,” claimed a fan on Twitter. “Someone paid the refs. I’m speechless.”
“There is no way in hell that Romero won that fight,” claimed another. “And this is why so many people believe boxing is rigged!”
“Fire them judges,” another suggested.
Perhaps it wasn’t so much that now lightweight titlist Romero was granted a decision win as it was he was granted a unanimous decision win. The fact that one judge’s card read 118-110 made matters all the more insulting to fans. “What was the judge smoking,” another Boxing Insider reader asked, “that had Romero winning the fight by a score of 118 to 110? Marinez was certainly robbed of a victory. Pathetic.”
Even those viewers who thought Romero might have done enough to get the nod couldn’t avoid acknowledging that Marinez spent much of the bout looking like the more skilled fighter. While Romero went in endlessly with heavy shots, Marinez smoothly moved while landing his own punches. Never once was Marinez in trouble – and never once did Romero appear completely comfortable in the ring. For his own part, Romero claimed that he thought he won, and that it wasn’t his fault if an opponent didn’t want to stand and fight. Boxing, however, is not the UFC. Being slippery can simply be part of the game.
So loud has the outcry been that WBA president Gilberto Mendoza has weighed in. “I just spoke with both teams,” he claimed Sunday on Twitter, “and we are going to study the possibility of a rematch.” For his own part, and to his credit, Romero is receptive to the idea of a second fight with Marinez. “To all y’all haters,” he stated on Instagram, “I’ll give him the rematch.” Seeing as how this past weekend was viewed as full fledged return to boxing, dealing with the controversy via a second go round between the combatants might well be in order.