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  Rolando Romero vs. Ismael Barroso
Final Press Conference


Hard-hitting contender Rolando ďRollyĒ Romero and No. 1 contender Ismael Barroso previewed their showdown for the vacant WBA Super Lightweight World Title at the final press conference Thursday before they meet in the SHOWTIME main event this Saturday, May 13 from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event.

The press conference also featured fighters competing on the undercard of the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXINGģ telecast. Action beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT will see former two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy duel the all-action Omar ďEl RelŠmpagoĒ Juarez in the 10-round super lightweight co-main event, and super lightweight contenders Batyr Akhmedov and Kenneth Sims Jr., facing off in a 12-round WBA Super Lightweight World Title Eliminator in the telecast opener.

Barroso stepped in on less than a monthís notice after Alberto Puello, who previously held the WBA 140-pound title that will be fought for on Saturday night, had been dropped from the main event because of a failed VADA test.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and available for purchase through Ticketmaster.com.

Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday from The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas:

ROLANDO ROMERO

ďI think Barroso is actually a better fighter than Alberto Puello, because he can actually crack. Any time youíre in a fight with a puncher, you know itís gonna be difficult.

ďIím not underestimating him. I know he can hit and heís a little tricky. He throws a good straight left that comes out of nowhere that heís been getting guys with. So Iím definitely not underestimating him.

ďIím going to make 140-pounds the most popping division in boxing. I see many pay-per-view events and Iím involved in all of them.

ďThe only thing that I learned from the Gervonta Davis fight is that I need to be patient. Patience is everything in life.

ďEveryone can expect to see ĎRollyí with the world title around his waist Saturday night. Every fighter that boxes dreams of becoming world champion, so it would be a dream come true.

ďI do like trash talking, but this isnít a trash talking fight. I have to respect this man next to me. Someone didnít want to follow all the rules, so I have to be grateful Barroso is here.

ďThis is the beginning of the ĎRollyí show again. Itís gonna be fireworks.

ISMAEL BARROSO


ďIím churning with the same intensity that I had 10 years ago. Youíre going to see that hunger and power in the ring. Iím bringing my best.

ďIím the number one contender and I got the opportunity that I deserve. I know some people thought they were left behind, but thatís not for me to worry about. ĎRollyí is here to take advantage of his opportunity, so good for him.

ďPeople who know me, know that Iím a warrior. ĎRollyí is a warrior too. So if youíre tuning into this fight on Saturday night, youíre going to see a battle between two fighters who are very eager to become world champion. That means fireworks.

ďWinning the title would be another blessing and a great source of happiness. Itís something that Iíve strived for my whole career and it would be the culmination of everything that Iíve trained for my entire life.

ďThe lesson Iím here to show is that it doesnít matter how many times you fall down, you have to keep getting up and battling every single moment. Because dreams can come true. Keep striving for whatever you want, no matter how old you are.Ē

RANCES BARTHELEMY


ďIím well aware that Iím fighting a hungry young lion, but I had a great training camp with my team. We studied him really well and youíre going to see me come out on top on Saturday night.

ďThe goal is to be able to make history as the first Cuban fighter to win titles in three divisions. Thatís what propels me to wake up in the morning and continue chasing this dream Iíve had for years.

ďI donít feel on the decline at all. I feel renewed. I have an outstanding team around me thatís allowed me to reach my peak once again. I feel like Iím more dangerous than ever. I have to prove it on Saturday.

ďIf you gave me a choice between fighting for a title or a rematch with Gary Antuanne Russell, I think I would take the rematch with Russell.

ďStyles make fights and our styles mesh up perfectly. Tune in to this fight because itís going to be fireworks in the ring.Ē

OMAR JUAREZ

ďIím ready. I had the best training camp of my career so far. Iím excited to display all my dedication on Saturday night.

ďI have experience too, but at the end of the day, weíre both putting it all on the line. Weíll see whoís tougher when the bell rings.

ďEveryone is going to see that Iím the hardest worker in the room. Itís been like that ever since I started fighting, and Iím ready to display it on Saturday night.

ďAt the end of the day, I want to be great. I have a lot of respect for Rances, but heís just in my way. I have to fight the best in order to be the best. This is a big win that Iím looking forward to getting.

ďWeíre fighters and we adapt. Iím ready for whatever my opponent brings to the table. No matter what Rances does, Iím going to be ready.

ďThis is gonna be an action packed fight with two amazing fighters and hard workers. Make sure you tune in, because all of these fights are going to be awesome.Ē

BATYR AKHMEDOV


ďIím very happy to be back with this fight. It definitely bothers me what happened since my fight against Alberto Puello. Of course, I want to be fighting for the title, but it is what it is. I took this fight one month after that Puello fight, and now weíre here fighting a tough contender.

ďThis is a tough fight and Iím happy to be here. I have big opportunities in front of me, and itís up to me to go get them.

ďItís hard to know what will happen, but I do believe the winner of this fight should face the winner of the main event. Weíre two top ranked contenders and the winner should be next. All I can control is doing my best to become the mandatory.

ďI feel like Iím a two-time world champion already, but I havenít got the belt. I know the people appreciate my style and what I do in the ring. I know that Iíve earned being in the main event. But now I do believe that I have a tougher fight in front of me and all I can do is prove what I deserve on Saturday.

ďI have to do my best to leave no doubt. Iím going to do my best every single round to win as brightly as possible and make sure there are zero doubts."

KENNETH SIMS JR.

ďThis fight is super important to me. Everyone here knows that a couple of years ago, I wasnít in this conversation. I donít ever want to leave this conversation again. In order for that to happen, I have to take care of business on Saturday.

ďIíve been extremely focused for the last two years. Iím not a young pup anymore. Iíve got more that Iím fighting for. Iím not just fighting for myself. Iím prepared to do whatever I have to do in the ring to get the win and keep my train rolling.

ďThere have been a lot of things that have changed with me over the last couple of years. Honestly, I didnít know what I was doing in the first phase of my career. I was just in there and fighting off straight athletic ability. I never applied what I actually know.

ďNow Iíve got a great team around me and Iíve learned a lot about myself. Whether itís nutrition or strength and conditioning, I didnít really have that in the first phase of my pro career. Now I have a real team around me and itís paying off.

ďWhen I say Iím ready for whatever, I mean it. No matter what I have to do. If boxing isnít working, I can fight. Iím not scared of a fight.

ďI think Batyr should be world champion right now and I believe that the winner of this fight should get to fight for the title.Ē



 

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