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24th & Glory: An 11-part World-Herald series by Dirk Chatelain


BOXING

Omaha native Steven 'So Cold' Nelson remains unbeaten with win over Felipe Romero

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Omaha native Steven 'So Cold' Nelson remains unbeaten with win over Felipe Romero

Steven "So Cold" Nelson had to overcome a first-round knockdown to remain undefeated.

HINCKLEY, Minn. — Omaha native Steven "So Cold" Nelson moved his professional record to 13-0 Friday by posting a six-round unanimous decision over Felipe "El Indio" Romero of Mexico at the Grand Casino.

But the former amateur standout, who fights out of WBO welterweight champion Terence "Bud" Crawford's B&B Boxing Academy, had to overcome a first-round knockdown to remain undefeated.

Nelson touched the canvas after a right hand from Romero (20-17-1) in the final minute of the opening round. The light heavyweight from Omaha was in control of the fight at the time and took over again in the following stanza. Nelson scored a knockdown of his own with a counter left to the body in the third.

It was only the third time that Nelson, who has 10 knockouts on his record, had to go the distance since he joined the pro ranks in 2016. Two judges scored the bout 59-54 in his favor. The third had it at 58-54.

Romero, a 14-year professional, has been a gatekeeper at both light heavyweight and cruiserweight. He's been in the ring with a few current or former world titlists, including undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine and WBA light heavyweight beltholder Dmitry Bivol of Russia.

The Mexican fighter came in four pounds over the 175-pound limit for the fight and had a bit of a size advantage over the Nelson, who weighed in at 172. But Nelson wore down Romero as the fight went on.

The bout, carried on ESPN+, was on the undercard of the middleweight championship fight between Rob Brant and Khasan Baysangurov. Also on that card, Nelson's B&B stablemate Ismail Muwendo (20-1) of Minneapolis recorded a one-sided unanimous decision over Hevinson Herrera (24-16) at lightweight.

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