Rolly Romero Almost Famous | Sexual Assault Allegations Derail Showtime With Tank Davis

Rolly Romero at Los Angeles Press Conference for fight against Gervonta "Tank" Davis. Image Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Rolando “Rolly” Romero was almost famous. The Las Vegas boxer was already with the world-famous Mayweather Promotions.

He trained with Floyd Mayweather and survived sparring sessions at the world-famous Mayweather Boxing Club affectionately called The Doghouse.

The New Heel

In addition, his bad-boy personality matched his unorthodox bully boxing style. As the wins piled up to 14 and the knockouts to 12, Rolly got more confident.

However, when he flexed his fight hype muscles all over stablemate, Gervonta “Tank” Davis, that’s when his profile started rising. What began as a social media goading by Rolly towards Davis evolved into a December 5th SHOWTIME pay-per-view bout against the Baltimore native for his WBA lightweight strap.

The two faced off in a heated press conference in Los Angeles, and Rolly placed all the pressure on Tank to shut him up. Tank was visibly agitated by Romero, and the fight looked like a viable pay-per-view test primarily for Rolly with a side-eye for Tank if he didn’t demolish Rolly.

Game Over

However, the fight would not come to fruition when the boxing world was rocked with revelations of sexual assault allegations against Rolly.

Sports Illustrated broke the story when his accuser, Izabel Zambrano, 24, accused Romero of sexually assaulting her in 2019. Rolly’s self-made hype worked to garner him the attention he wanted, but it also triggered the sensibilities of his accuser.

“It just seemed like he was everywhere,” Zambrano said to SI. “I went to YouTube to turn on a video of my daughter, I see a video of him. I go on Twitter, I see a video of him. I go on Facebook, I see a video of him. I turn on the TV.

“I didn’t realize I had PTSD from that night. I was so confused and so ashamed that I had put myself in a position like that. Now, I’m very triggered by what happened. I can no longer sit and bottle it up while he gets to live this life and be glorified and no one’s voice is heard.”

More Accusers

According to SI’s report, Zambrano filed a claim against Rolly with the Henderson, Nevada police. However, according to reports, seven other women have also accused Rolly of sexual assault since then.

SHOWTIME removed Rolly from his dream grudge match against Davis on SHOWTIME. According to ESPN, now Isaac Cruz (22-1) is stepping in to save the fight.

“Obviously those are disturbing allegations, very concerning,” Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza said over the weekend. “At this point we’re still monitoring the situation, looking to find out all the facts. And until we feel like we have a firm grasp we’re not gonna comment further, but it is something we’re looking into very seriously.”

A Bigger Issue

Romero has branded himself as a young boxing heel, an image that may haunt him. Combat sport athletes across boxing and mixed martial arts have had many domestic abuse and assault allegations.

From former UFC champions Conor McGregor and Jon Jones to Floyd Mayweather, Jr., who served time for a domestic abuse accusation, fighters seem to have a problem. In addition, Tank Davis himself was caught on camera roughing up his child’s mother during a celebrity basketball game in 2020.

Romero’s out of ring issues highlight a larger issue with fighter’s that need to be addressed.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhettย hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.