Rolando Romero: I fight guys like Isaac Cruz all the time

Rolando Romero defends world title against Isaac Cruz live from Las Vegas

American world champion Rolando Romero faces Mexican contender Isaac Cruz live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, March 30. The contest serves as the co-feature on the card topped by Keith Thurman vs Tim Tszyu. Ahead of the event, the fighters previewed their bout at a virtual press conference.

At the press conference, Romero and Cruz traded verbal jabs. Toward the end, they went back and forth in Spanish and declared that their clash would be “the most exciting fight of the year.”

Looking for his second win in a row, Rolando “Rolly” Romero (15-1, 13 KOs) brings to the ring his WBA super lightweight title. The 28-year-old Las Vegas native makes the first defense of his belt that he claimed by TKO in the ninth round against Ismael Barroso last May.

“If you want to come right at me and get cracked, go for it,” Rolando Romero said. “He can do all that stuff with the small guys he fights, but I’m a big fighter and I hit harder than anyone at the weight class.”

“I’m always here to go for the knockout and to go for the kill. I’m not here to just touch you, I want to pop you.”

“He’s not that unique. I fight guys like him all the time. This has probably been the easiest time I’ve ever had finding sparring in my life. He can be replicated, I can’t. My style goes hand in hand with my personality, it’s unique.”

“We’ll see who the coward is on March 30. Once he gets cracked by me a few times, he’s not gonna come forward like that anymore.”

“I’m gonna knock him out. He’s gonna come forward and I’m gonna stop him. He gets hit with everything, so it could be any kind of punch.”

“I used to train with Ismael Salas before I turned pro, so it felt good to go back to basics for this training camp with him and get back to being me. Salas has had so many champions and I feel very comfortable being back with him.”

“I know the Mexican fans are gonna be riding with him, but no matter what, it’s gonna be a spectacular fight and fireworks for sure.”

Isaac Cruz: I haven’t had any trouble finding people like Rolando Romero in sparring

Riding a three-fight winning streak, Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz (25-2-1, 17 KOs) makes his 140-pound debut and second attempt to become champion. The Mexican 25-year-old contender dropped a unanimous decision against Gervonta Davis in December 2021 in his bid to land the WBA lightweight title.

“First thing’s first, I want to shut Rolly’s loud mouth up and take the belt away from him,” Isaac Cruz said. “Then I’m going after all the best fighters in the division.”

“I’m very excited to have this great opportunity on March 30. Training camp has been very intense because we don’t want anything to get in our way of becoming world champion.”

“I’m not about to underestimate or overlook anybody. He’s had his success for a reason. I’m just getting ready to shut his mouth punch by punch and make him talk a little less. I hope he fights the way he talks on March 30.”

“I’m not worried about Rolly, I just worry about my game. He’s never fought anyone as aggressive as me or who pressures like I do.”

“We waited for the opportunity at 135 to fight for the world title again, but now we’re glad to have it come at 140 pounds. We’ve had a great plan to add the extra weight and use it in our strategy to win on March 30.”

“This fight is everything for me. Winning this fight is the key to opening the door to all of the big fights in the sport.”

“I haven’t had any trouble finding people like him in sparring. I can find cowards who don’t really like to fight anywhere.”

In the main event, former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman of Clearwater, Florida takes on Australia’s reigning WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu. The pair goes head to head in the 12-round bout at 155-pound catchweight.

Parviz Iskenderov
Parviz Iskenderov is a former Muay Thai fighter, sports manager and editor at FIGHTMAG.

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