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Rolly Romero And Ismael Barroso To Fight For Now-Vacant WBA World Title

Rolly Romero And Ismael Barroso To Fight For Now-Vacant WBA World Title featured image
Rolando "Rolly" Romero now faces the opportunity to become a world champion if he manages to defeat Ismael Barroso in their May 13th bout. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

The Junior Welterweight/Super Lightweight clash between Rolly Romero and Ismael Barroso, which was quickly arranged for May 13th after former WBA champion Alberto Puello tested positive for drugs, will now determine the new holder of the recently-vacated WBA title. Their match at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will now see the dawn of a new world champion in the 140-pound division ― if the match does not end in a draw.

In late April, Alberto Puello (21-0, 10 KO’s) was suspended after clomiphene was detected in his ‘A’ sample from his most recent drug test. As a result, he was unable to participate in the May 13th fight, where he was originally scheduled to face Rolly Romero (14-1, 12 KO’s). Ismael Barroso (24-3-2, 22 KO’s) was thereafter chosen as the replacement opponent due to him having been scheduled to fight on the same card as Romero, and fighting in the same 140-pound division as Romero.

Alberto Puello is currently awaiting the results of his ‘B’ sample test by VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) to confirm whether he intentionally used clomiphene. Due to the suspension imposed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) following his failed drug test, Puello’s status as champion has been changed to ‘champion in recess’. As a result, his WBA world title has been vacated in order to give the next best contenders a chance at the belt; in this case, Rolly Romero and Ismael Barroso.

Former WBA interim Lightweight champion Ismael Barroso will be involved in his second world title fight after previously losing as interim champion to former WBA Lightweight world champion Anthony Crolla in a unification of their WBA titles. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Puello’s “champion in recess” status means that he will be able to directly challenge the winner of Romero vs. Barroso once (and if) his issues are sorted out. Aside from waiting on the “B” sample results of his test, Puello will also be attending a hearing by NSAC in which they will make their own decision regarding his suspension. After May 17th, Alberto Puello’s status and tests will be clarified, according to the WBA.

Both Rolly Romero and Ismael Barroso have completed their training camps and are in excellent physical condition for the scheduled twelve-round bout. Their match promises to be even more entertaining as they have prepared for different opponents, potentially resulting in an intriguing clash of styles on the night.

In either case, it will be a pivotal high-stakes match for both fighters with the WBA Super Lightweight title on the line to determine the next world champion in the division.