Rolando Romero is one of boxing’s most divisive figures, but he thinks people might have got it wrong about him.

The WBA super lightweight champion, 15-1 (13 KOs), defends his title against Isaac Cruz at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on March 30, on the first boxing pay-per-view carried by Amazon Prime.

“I’m kicking off Amazon Prime, people don’t actually understand how big this is. It’s going to be fireworks,” said Romero.

“I’m not really a villain. I’m more of an anti-hero. A villain is doing evil things, an anti-hero is doing things for what’s best, right? I’m not a villain. They just don’t understand me.”

Romero was featured on the first shoulder-programming for the event, Gloves Off, which was released a couple of days ago and before main eventer Keith Thurman had to withdraw from his bout against Tim Tszyu in the headline bout.

Romero has a sizeable social media following, and is often derided by boxing’s hardcore fans. He doesn’t mind. He is content with where he is now, heading into the biggest night of his boxing life.

“As a kid, I spent a lot of time alone,” Romero said. “I didn’t really have no friends. I really couldn’t speak until I was 11 or so, it sounded like I was speaking gibberish. I think that’s the reason I enjoy every moment of this as I do now, because I never had any of this growing up.

“The fact that I have the impact I do on the world, that’s enough to make me happy, to give me genuine joy. I started boxing so late I had to play catch up with everybody. All the top fighters around my age group had 200-300 fights, then you get me, 16 fights and I became world champion twice, so I always fight the most difficult fights. I don’t decline a fight.”

Cruz is 25-2-1 (17 KOs) challenger best-known for his “Pitbull” tag and for giving Gervonta “Tank” Davis a rough ride in 2021. 

“Pitbull Cruz is a tremendous fighter, but I’m going to beat the s*** out of him,” Romero added. “He’s going to come forward and he’s going to try to beat the f*** out of me, and I don’t really care if people think I’m going to beat him or not, I just know I’m going to knock him out. You’ll see. March 30.”