NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — Gervonta Davis found the punch at a difficult time in the fight, knocking out Rolando Romero with a devastating left hand in the sixth round on Saturday to retain his lightweight title and remain undefeated.
The chilling and final punch came when Romero had thrown an overhand near a corner, neglecting his guard. Hit in the head, the boxer of Cuban descent fell forward, bounced off the ropes and went to the canvas.
As he could, “Rolly” Romero got to his feet, but by continuing to stumble, referee David Fields safeguarded his integrity and ended hostilities.
Davis (27-0 with 25 KOs) had not scored a knockout in his previous victory, something that had only happened once before in his career.
Romero heated things up for the fight at Barclays Center, noting that the three-division champion was not that dangerous, but rather vulnerable.
If there was a weakness, Davis knew how to correct it. He appeared to hurt his left arm, missing a powerful punch in the fifth round. In the next one she did not fail and finished the duel.
Romero was defeated for the first time in 15 fights as a professional.
The electrifying finale marked the return of major boxing cards to Brooklyn, where Davis won his first title in 2017. The boxer from Maryland drew 18,970 spectators, an arena record for a fight.
The last relevant boxing function at Barclays had been held before the pandemic.
The lawsuit should have been held in December, but the challenger was removed from the role while an accusation against him was investigated for alleged sexual assault. Davis faced Mexican Isaac Cruz, whom he defeated by unanimous decision.
That was the first time since 2015 that he did not knock out his rival.
No charges were filed against Romero, so the fight went ahead, with a lot of bickering leading up to it. Davis was so exasperated by Romero’s criticism that he pushed him off the stage at Friday’s weigh-in.
Saturday’s fall was much more resounding.
Romero had insisted he would finish Davis in one round. But the only significant blows in those first three minutes were dealt in the stands, during a brawl between fans.
In the second inning, Romero landed some good shots, but missed an opportunity to mount a good attack by pushing Davis, who fell to the canvas in a struggle.
The fight looked fairly even after four rounds. Davis seemed on track for his best performance in the fifth, when he winced from the apparent injury.
It is unknown what the problem was, but it did not last long.