Miami Herald boxing article by Santos Perez on Tony Roman.
Middleweight Roman rises quickly, gets title shot
Posted on Wed, Nov. 19, 2008
BY SANTOS A. PEREZ
Tony Roman began the year without a professional fight on his record but with abundant aspirations.
In 10 months, Roman has built a professional résumé, and on Wednesday night he will fight for a regional middleweight title.
Roman (7-0) will face Alexis Divison in the main event of a nine-bout card at the Mahi Temple Shrine Auditorium.
Roman, 27, credits his new management and promotional team for his lofty opportunity in such an abbreviated time. A native of the Dominican Republic, Roman moved to Miami late last year and has fought all his bouts in local promoter Henry Rivalta’s shows.
”When I began my career I thought this process would take a bit longer,” Roman said in Spanish after a workout Monday. “Other people were guiding me, and things didn’t turn out the way I expected.
“Luckily, I was presented this new offer by a new group, and things have worked out for the better.”
For Roman, departure from his native country came with personal and professional hardship. Roman left behind his wife, 5-year-old daughter and parents, as well as a steady job. While a member of the police force, Roman also represented the unit in amateur contests.
”Opportunities in professional boxing are few over there,” Roman said. “There are many who want to become professional fighters, but few get a chance.
“I had offers to turn professional in the Dominican Republic, but I didn’t accept them because things just didn’t appear right. I decided that if I wanted to make it as a professional fighter it would be in the United States.”
Roman acknowledges adjustment to the professional circuit proved difficult at first, considering the majority of his 212-bout amateur career consisted of three-round matches. Wednesday night’s fight against Divison will be his first scheduled for 10 rounds.
”I have increased the number of rounds I am sparring to prepare me for this fight,” said Roman, who has won four of his fights by knockout. “I am not worried about being overtrained. It’s better to get tired in the gym than the actual fight.”
As he spends countless hours in the gym, Roman can’t help but think of his family back home. To help cope with the separation, Roman has made visits to the Dominican Republic between fights.
”There are difficult days because they support me tremendously,” Roman said.
“But the reason I am here fighting hard is to help my family.”