For the second time in as many fights, a scheduled opponent for Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero wasn’t prepared to sign up for kayos.
Las Vegas’ Romero is on the hunt for a new opponent after Austin Dulay was forced to withdraw from their scheduled July 17 clash. A knee injury forced Dulay out of their planned Showtime-televised bout, which was to serve in chief support to the undisputed junior middleweight championship between Jermell Charlo (34-1, 18KOs) and Brian Castaño (17-0-1, 12KOs) at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
“We had to pull out of the fight due to a knee injury that we got during camp,” Dulay revealed overnight, hours after rumors circulated of his withdrawing from the fight. “We didn’t have time to make up for lost time.”
BoxingScene.com has learned that a replacement opponent is in the process of being finalized, though not officially signed as this goes to publish.
The fallout marks the second straight time where Romero (13-0, 11KOs) is forced to settle for a late replacement. The current WBA interim lightweight titlist saw his last fight fall apart at the scale, after Justin Pauldo showed up 3.6 pounds over the 135-pound divisional limit for their scheduled January 23 clash in Uncasville, Connecticut. Efforts to have the fight take place at 140 pounds were scrapped altogether after Pauldo failed a pre-fight physical.
Romero would go on to face Philadelphia’s Avery Sparrow, whom he stopped in their seventh round of their non-title fight.
The bout with Dulay would have marked the first defense of the WBA interim lightweight title for Romero, who claimed the secondary title in a disputed 12-round decision over Jackson Mariñez last August. Always quick with an unkind word for his divisional peers, the unbeaten 25-year-old lightweight voiced his displeasure in his own way over the change of plans ahead of his next fight.
“I don’t know how anyone could decline a world title shot and more money than they ever made,” Romero openly questioned via social media upon learning of Dulay withdrawing from the fight. “My opponent had a panic attack and pulled out of the fight.
“I know I say this often but I found the new biggest bitch in boxing… Austin Dulay.”
Naturally, the commentary wasn’t well received by the stated target.
“No one is scared to fight you, Rolly,” responded Dulay. “We asked to fight you. We want to fight you. I’ll give you 10K of my fight purse to push back the fight to a later date.
“Your toughest fight, you lost. Everyone knows it! So if you think it’s sweet, push it back and let’s run it. There’s no bitch in my blood. And if you wanna run your mouth, you do it. Your fan girls are mad annoying.”
The balance of the show will move forward in present form. In addition to Charlo-Castaño, the three-fight telecast will also include an intriguing middleweight clash between Uruguay’s Amilcar Vidal (12-0, 11KOs) and Immanuel Aleem (18-2-2, 11KOs), a Long Island-bred product now based out of Virginia.
Every indication points to Romero remaining on the card, pending approval of a replacement opponent. Sweden’s Anthony Yigit (24-1-1, 8KOs) is on the undercard and currently without an opponent, with the former title challenger rumored to land the assignment.
Representatives from Showtime and Premier Boxing Champions were not in a position to comment as discussions are ongoing regarding the matter.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox