Romero: ‘I need to go to 140’

Rolando “Rolly” Romero (14-0, 12 KOs) delivered another impressive knockout, flooring Anthony Yigit (24-2-1, 8 KOs) three times on his way to a seventh-round TKO victory to retain his WBA Interim World Lightweight Title.

Romero controlled the action throughout, punishing southpaw Yigit to the head and body.

“I won’t rate my performance but I got a vicious knockout and I hurt him multiple times in the fight. Every time I landed something, I hurt him,” said Romero. “The European style is always awkward and he was a bigger dude. He’s a 140-pounder. If I had those extra five pounds, I would have got him out of there earlier.”

“I knew he was going to come in strong and kind of force it,” said Yigit. “So, I tried to pace myself at the beginning to see where I had him. He was very aggressive and he knew how to utilize all his strengths. Fair play to him.”

The first knockdown occurred in the fifth when, immediately after having a point deducted for hitting on the break, Romero sent Yigit crumpling to the canvas with a short right to the temple. Yigit rose to his feet on wobbly legs and was saved by a bell that rang moments later.

“He was hurt [in the fifth] but the bell rang so I didn’t have time to finish him,” said Romero. “If I had that extra time, I would have got him. He was holding, he didn’t really want to engage because he was really hurt. He was scared.”

Yigit ate more bombs in the sixth but couldn’t withstand them in the seventh as Romero dropped him, this time with a three punch-combination. Romero pounced once Yigit rose, unleashing volleys until a left hook floored Yigit a third time, forcing referee Rafael Ramos to halt the action at 1:54 of the seventh round.

“I wouldn’t mind doing it again,” said Yigit. “He was a tough opponent and I liked the fight we were having. There is some kind of mutual respect in the ring and I felt that from him. So, it felt great knowing that I went in the ring and we respected each other and gave it the best we had.”

“The punches he landed clean, I saw them coming,” said Romero.” I have to work on more combinations. I had a bad camp – at the beginning I hurt both of my ankles and my right hand. I was in a car accident a week and a half ago. My body was still sore from that yet I still took the fight.

“I need to go to 140. It’s my natural weight class. I feel I’ll be a lot stronger. I was at 135 for, what, four years now? It’s about time I move up.”

Photo: Amanda Wescott/SHOWTIME