Miguel “Mickey” Roman embodies his hometown of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, inside the ring. Roman has that tough, blue-collar style that has made him a fan favorite in and around the city that borders the United States.
Roman has been a pro since the age of 17 and, despite some setbacks in and out of the ring, believes he is capable of winning a world title.
Roman will cross the border into El Paso, Texas, to challenge WBC junior lightweight titleholder Miguel Berchelt tonight at the Don Haskins Convention Center.
The 12-round bout will headline a Top Rank card and stream live on ESPN+ (9:30 p.m. ET/ 6:30 p.m. PT).
The 32-year-old Roman (60-12, 47 knockouts) last fought on June 23, knocking out Michel Marcano in round two.
Roman became the mandatory challenger to face Berchelt when he scored his biggest win of his career on December 9, knocking down Orlando “Siri” Salido three times en route to a ninth round stoppage win.
Roman may be the underdog tonight against Berchelt but he takes it in stride, as he believes he has always been the underdog throughout his life and career.
“It’s a great fight,” Roman told RingTV.com in a recent sit-down interview. “I am always thinking about winning. I plan on fighting intelligently and strong, like everyone knows I am capable of.
“I’ve won my last four fights. I have always worked hard to reach the elite status of the division. I believe that has always helped me be successful. I may be the underdog in this fight but I will demonstrate the type of fighter I am against Berchelt.”
Roman was born and raised in Ciudad Juarez, which has been dogged in recent years by violence between rival drug traffickers and gangs. That violence led to Roman’s brother being killed years ago. The alleged suspect was killed in a shootout months later, another statistic in a city that knows all too well the cycle of violence throughout the years.
Roman beams with pride when he speaks of his hometown. He hopes to accomplish on Saturday night what no other fighter from the city has done: win a world title belt.
“I am very proud to represent Ciudad Juarez,” said Roman, who is promoted by Promociones Del Pueblo. “If I win, I will become the first world champion from the city. That means a lot to me. Because of that, I aim to be the number one fighter from the city.”
Roman is ranked No. 6 at 130 pounds by The Ring Magazine.
Berchelt (34-1, 30 KOs), ranked No. 1 at junior lightweight by The Ring, is not just standing in Roman’s way of a world title belt; he also wants to thwart his attempt to become the best fighter at 130 pounds. Berchelt, Gervonta Davis and now Alberto Machado are among the fighters whom boxing fans and scribes debate as the best at 130 pounds.
Roman believes he would be the best junior lightweight in boxing with a win over Berchelt.
“My objective has always been to be the best at 130 pounds. I have the Berchelt fight and I want to demonstrate that I do want to be the number one fighter in the division. There are no plans to unify the division with the other champions.”
A knockout loss would likely end Roman’s run amongst the Top 10 at 130 pounds. He does have a fan-friendly style, which could allow him to fight on television or streams like DAZN or ESPN+.
Roman’s goal is to win a world title, coupled with the motivation of providing a better life for his family.
“My motivation is my family. My children, my wife, and my parents.
“All I have been focused on is Berchelt and winning a world title.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV.com since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper, BoxingScene.com and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.
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