By Steve Kim Updated on May 15, 2023

A Week Stoppage

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Saturday night at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Rollie Romero won the WBA junior welterweight title. But it was referee Tony Weeks who gets credited with the save. The box score will tell you that Romero scored a ninth round stoppage of Ismael Barroso, the reality is that Romero was the recipient of one of the worst stoppage of all-time.

For much of this bout, it was controlled by the seasoned Barroso, who scored a knockdown of Romero in early in the fight, and had his younger foe backing up. While he is a natural lightweight, the Venezuelan still had enough pop to keep Romero off him.

Picture for A Week StoppageEsther Lin, Showtime Sports

But then in the 9th, there was a questionable knockdown ruled by Weeks. Then later on in the round as Romero was flailing away at Barroso -- missing just about every punch --  the fight was inexplicably waved off by Weeks.

Rolly Romero vs. Ismael Barroso: FULL CARD Highlights | SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING

Call it incompetence, many others believe it's flat out corruption. 

I can't prove the latter, but consider this: it was Romero himself who said earlier this week that he got ''Rollie privileges'', it was he that was the A-side in this equation, and the one being set up for rematches with Gervonta Davis, or a showdown with Ryan Garcia. Which is why the WBA gave him this title shot despite not having fought since his knockout loss to 'Tank' last year.

There was no upside to Barroso winning. It just couldn't happen. And Weeks made sure it didn't.

Years ago I was told by a wise ol' boxing guy, "Fighters perform for today, judges and officials perform for tomorrow."

Picture for A Week StoppageEsther Lin, Showtime Sports

Ask yourself this, if the roles were reversed in that situation, does Weeks make that same decision? Forget Queen Latifah, he was 'the equalizer' for Romero. 

Again, I can't prove anything, but Danny Davis (yeah, that's a WWF reference) thinks that was some incredibly biased officiating. The public perception is that Weeks is now a tainted judge, one that is tabbed to carry out certain agendas.

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So now Romero, who is as technically flawed as any belt-holder in the world, he will go onto lucrative paydays as he plays the role of the modern day, poor mans Ricardo Mayorga. No, he isn't very good, but he is now a 'world champion'. 



Unfortunately, what took place on the Showtime main event, will overshadow the excellent 12 round battle that took place between Kenneth Sims and Batyr Akhmedov. There was consistent action in this fast-paced contest, which had several swings in momentum.

Sims started off well, beating Akhmedov to the punch, but by the middle rounds the steady pressure began to back up the 29 year old native of Chicago, who was hit with numerous left hands. But just as it seemed as though Akhmedov would take over down the stretch, he was buzzed by a counter-punch from Sims in the ninth frame. 

Picture for A Week StoppageEsther Lin, Showtime Sports

In the final rounds, Sims' right eye was closing, and Akhmedov rallied in rounds 11 and 12, but Sims stood his ground and found openings for his faster, sharper punches. Both men emptied the bucket. There was an argument for either man winning, but it was the resurgent Sims winning via majority decision by the scores of 114-114, 115-113 and 116-112.

Simply put, this was one of the better bouts of 2023.

For Sims, this marks his arrival as a true contender at 140. Once a highly touted prospect for Chicago, he hit some rough waters several years ago, but he has become a really solid pro. As for the hard-luck Akhmedov, he just can't seem to catch a break.



Meanwhile on ESPN from Stockton, Top Rank had their latest card. Jason Moloney became a world champion as he captured the vacant WBO bantamweight title by boxing a discipline fight against Vincent Astrolobio, in what was a rather dull affair. Some boos could be heard, but Moloney did what he had to in order to win against the heavy-handed Filipino.

Picture for A Week StoppageMikey Williams/Top Rank

Some would call it tactical, others might dub it boring.  But for Moloney it was effective as he won by the scores of 114-114, 115-113, 116-112.

The main event was a short one, as WBO middleweight belt-holder, Janibek Alimkhanuly, blew out Stephen Butler in two rounds.

Janibek Drops Butler Three Times In TKO Win | FIGHT HIGHLIGHTS

Currently, Alimkhanuly is rated third in the division by Ring Magazine, and is certainly a talented boxer. But this is the reality, for the other marquee names in this weight class he is the very definition of 'high risk-low reward' ( just think about it, Demetrius Andrade of all people, avoided this WBO mandatory and moved up in weight) and he is a relatively unknown quantity with only 14 fights under his belt. 

There's a reason why he was headlining in Stockton. 

Picture for A Week StoppageMikey Williams/Top Rank

But you wonder, at 30 years old, and with only 14 fights, performing just twice-a-year, will he ever really get those fights he yearns for? It was about a decade ago that Gennadiy Golovkin found himself in a similar situation, and he worked in volume, fighting more often and becoming someone who became a valuable franchise through sheer activity and entertaining performances. 

As of now, Janibek is just another talented guy with a belt. 






About Author
A Week Stoppage
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for
  • Was a boxing reporter for from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.