Rolando Romero talked about scoring a knockout. Gervonta Davis delivered it.
Davis stopped Romero with a single left counterpunch in Round 6 of their scheduled 12-round lightweight bout to remain unbeaten at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The fight had been something akin to a chess match, as each man fought carefully out of respect for his counterpart’s punching power even though Romero had predicted an early stoppage.
As a result, relatively few punches were thrown in the fight.
Romero, the taller of the two, fought behind a pawing left jab. That made it difficult for Davis to get inside and land meaningful punches. And Romero was able to connect on power shots here and there.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) May 29, 2022
However, in Round 5, Davis seemed to subtly shift into another gear. The round was competitive but the southpaw landed a few quick, hard left hands, which provided a clue of what was to come.
In Round 6, with about 35 seconds remaining, Romero (14-1, 12 KOs0 lunged forward as he threw a right hand. Davis countered with a pulverizing straight left, which sent his opponent face first into the ropes and then onto his seat.
Romero, badly shaken, was able to get up but referee David Fields decided he wasn’t fit to continue and he stopped the fight as a packed, pro-Davis crowd at Barclays Center went wild.
The official time was 2:39 of Round 6.
The spectacular outcome was important for Davis, who struggled to eke out a decision over Isaac Cruz in his previous fight. He claimed after word that he had injured his left hand.
On Saturday, Davis (27-0, 25 KOs) grimaced after landing a punch in Round 5, which raised speculation that he had injured the hand again or another part of his body. However, if that was the case, his big left hand the following round made it irrelevant.
Davis successfully defended what the WBA calls its “regular” title, which Boxing Junkie doesn’t recognize. He is, in effect, the No. 1 contender to George Kambosos’ WBC championship.
Kambosos is scheduled defend his titles against Devin Haney on June 5 in Melbourne, Australia. Davis will be among those considered to face the winner.