Roman survives Payano in WBC eliminator

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Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

In a WBC super bantamweight eliminator, former unified world champion Danny Roman (28-3-1, 9 KOs) won a twelve round unanimous decision over 36-year-old ex-champ Juan Carlos Payano (21-4, 9 KOs) on Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. 20:1 underdog Payano gave Roman all he could handle, but somehow came up on the short end of a 116-112 3x verdict. Roman appeared to drop Payano right at the final bell, ruled no knockdown. Payano had a large edge in the punch stats for what it’s worth.

“I don’t take anything away from Payano,” said Roman. “I knew it would be a tough fight. He brought everything he could and I took it, made it a fight and came out victorious.

“He kept on landing his uppercut to the body early, but we adjusted our defense to avoid the shot and tried to pressure. I couldn’t brawl with him, so I had to box and use my distance a little more.

“He was countering me well because I wasn’t taking the distance away. I had to either block or get out of the way. After I started doing that, it worked out and I started throwing combinations. I saw I was hurting him to the body so I kept putting pressure on.

“I was trying to win every round and dominate. The last four rounds my trainer told me to step it up so the same thing didn’t happen that happened in my last fight. That’s what we did. We made the last few rounds convincing.

“We’re at the level and ready to fight the Luis Nery vs. Aaron Alameda winner. I still have unfinished business with Murodjon Akhmadaliev. I want that rematch. If not that, then I’m ready to fight Angelo Leo.

“It’s always good to have your hand raised. I can’t take anything away from Payano. He’s a veteran and he knows a lot of tricks. I had to adjust. It feels good to get a win again and I’m looking to keep that feeling going.”

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  • I believed Payano out hustled Roman, and I was surprised Payano accepted the loss so calmly…very strange.

    As for Roman, he needs a better jab because he is not a power puncher. Roman must perform better IF he expects to challenge the more elite dogs at 122.

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