Rolando Romero gets a controversial decision over Jackson Marinez
As Rolando Romero sat behind the mics, it was as if he was trying to convince himself of something that just wasn’t there.
The 24-year-old won the “interim” WBA lightweight title Saturday night. He won with his face bruised up. He won by being out-jabbed, out-boxed and losing the punchstat battle that his swollen eyes wore.
Somehow, someway, the judges didn’t see what it seems everyone else saw.
Judges Glenn Feldman (116-112), Frank Lombardi (118-110) and Don Trella (115-113) all favored Romero over Jackson Marinez on PBC’s Showtime Championship Boxing telecast from the Mohegan Sun Arena fight sphere in Uncasville, Connecticut.
“You guys say I had a bad performance,” Romero said. “I don’t think I had a bad performance. I thought I won the fight. Regardless of everything, I’m the world champ now. I’m happy.
“He came out a little bit tougher and slicker than what I thought. But all he did was move around the entire fight. He didn’t even try to engage so it’s hard to knock out someone who doesn’t want to get knocked out or doesn’t try to engage.
“I hurt him multiple times, with body shots, with a few hooks. There was one moment I hurt him with a right hand and he pulled my head down. It was hard to finish him off because I hurt him a lot at the end of the rounds.
“Yeah [I would give him a rematch]. He didn’t do anything special.”
Punchstats told a different story. Marinez landed 103/629 total punches, which was 17 more than Romero (86/509). Marinez also landed more power punches (72/401 to Romero’s 61/251) and jabs (31/228 to Romero’s 25/258).
“That was pure robbery,” Marinez said. “I won the fight. I out-jabbed, out-boxed him. You could tell he didn’t think he won the fight right afterwards. It’s a robbery.”
Romero (12-0, 10 KOs) went 12 rounds for the first time.
Marinez (19-1, 7 KOs) came on late, possibly too late.
“The other champions are still not going to fight me,” Romero said. “I hope they get in the ring with me. Once my eye heals back up from the headbutt, I’m going to be back in the ring.”
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/RingTV.com since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.