The World Boxing Association declared the Dominican Alberto Puello as 140 lbs. champion in recess, after he tested positive for a banned substance, according to the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA), therefore, the fight between Rolando Romero and Ismael Barroso, will be for the WBA Super Lightweight vacant Championship.
This was approved by a vote of its members by the WBA Championships Committee, which, in turn, indicates that Puello’s recess status is exceptional and a final decision will be made after May 17, 2023, when the boxer attends a hearing with the Nevada Athletic Commission and the Commission makes a decision or a VADA report indicates a negative result of the B test, which is done at the request of the boxer.
The Puello vs. Romero fight was not a mandatory defense, however, and adhering to the WBA C22 rule, the WBA Championships Committee approved Barroso as the Dominican’s replacement for this world championship bout. This rule states that when a champion cannot defend his title for medical, legal or other justifiable reasons, he will be declared inactive and the organization will choose the official title contenders.
Since the bout is scheduled for May 13 and the Nevada hearing will take place 4 days after, the WBA felt the need to adhere to the C22 rule to affect as little as possible the athletes classified at 140 pounds.
For his part, Barroso, mandatory challenger at Super Lightweight, was chosen to face Romero. The winner will face Ohara Davies no later than 120 days after May 13.
In the event that the fight ends in a draw or a “no decision,” the Committee will reconsider the 140-pound case and issue a new ruling pending the outcome of Puello’s hearing with the Nevada Commission and the possibility of opening the B Test.