Ismael Barroso bounced back from a hugely controversial loss by knocking out the UK’s Ohara Davies in round one of their super-lightweight interim title bout.
The 40-year-old from Venezuela fought for the vacant belt last year, dropping Rolando Romero and up on the cards before it was stopped by the referee after a knockdown that many feel was a push and a flurry of shouts that didn’t seem to do damage.
Barroso was granted the chance to right that wrong and get another shot against Davies, whose only two losses entering the ring had come against Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall.
As such, the younger man was a heavy favourite.
The pair started tentatively, although it was clear that Barroso was looking for counters from his southpaw stance. About halfway into the first round, the Venezuelan ducked a straight ring hand to land his left hook and Davies staggered back into the ropes. A follow-up shot put him down on his back.
He made the count but his legs were betraying him, and a four-five combination dropped him straightaway. He was up, as were his gloves, but the referee took a close look and waved it off.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) January 7, 2024
A shocking US debut for Davies, who had built up seven wins to get here.
Barroso celebrated the first round knockout accordingly, and held his Interim belt proudly. Of course many still feel it should be the full title, and he of course called out ‘Rolly’ Romero to make that happen.
“When I started boxing they told me I had a lot of power, and I’m showing that power now that’s god’s on my side. After that first punch I knew that I had him. I knew that it was a good punch. The people have been asking for Rolly and Barroso again. Romero, I’m right here! You were asking about “Venezuela, you know that they’re partying tonight!”
Romero took the the ring apron to give Barroso a hug and show his respect. Whether or not that will translate into a rematch being made remains to be seen. A recent injury was behind this interim bout, and he has also been called out for a much more lucrative fight against Ryan Garcia. It will be down to the WBA as to what happens next.