Premier Boxing Champions and Showtime are in advanced discussions to remove Rolando Romero from his scheduled Dec. 5 fight against Gervonta Davis due to accusations of sexual assault against Romero, sources told Sports Illustrated.
The alleged victim, Izabel Zambrano, 24, a Las Vegas resident, went public on social media last week about an incident she says occurred in the fall of 2019. In an interview with SI, Zambrano reiterated the account she posted on Twitter of the alleged assault, which she claims happened at Romero’s Las Vegas apartment after a game of Connect 4.
“We struggled,” Zambrano said in a telephone interview with SI, her first public comments beyond her social media posts. “I was really scared.”
A friend of Zambrano, who requested anonymity, confirmed to SI on Saturday that Zambrano contacted her and described the attack immediately afterwards, describing Zambrano as “distraught.”
Zambrano says she has filled out a witness statement with the Henderson Police Department and has been told she will be contacted by detectives from the Special Victims Unit this week. A spokesperson for the Henderson Police confirmed to Sports Illustrated that a report was taken involving Rolando Romero and that there is an open investigation. The police declined to name who made the report.
Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, which represents Romero, 26, did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment. A representative for Showtime declined comment. Sources tell SI that Isaac Cruz, a once-beaten lightweight, is the favorite to replace Romero on December 5th.
Asked why she did not report what happened in 2019, Zambrano told SI that the incident was “a paralyzing moment” and that she did not think anyone would believe her. She says she decided to come forward now, in part, because of how visible Romero has become since the fight with Davis, one of boxing’s biggest stars, was announced.
“It just seemed like he was everywhere,” says Zambrano. “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.”
Zambrano says the backlash she has received on social media since going public has been vile.
“People are calling me a gold digger, a clout chaser and so many things like that,” says Zambrano. “All these things people are saying about me are not true. They have just been disgusting. This is something I have struggled with in silence. I had to speak up.”