INDIO, CA – Another fight, another victory for Alexis Rocha.
In front of a crowd of partisans, Rocha broke down Anthony Young, eventually bringing him to the canvas and winning by knockout in round 5 at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.
Rocha, who is ranked 10th on The Ring, improved to 22-1, 15 knockouts.
From the opening bell Rocha from the south paw dominated, landing at will. Every time he initiated a trade, Young would immediately bind or clench.
Young did little to get involved, carefully stepping back and keeping his distance from Rocha. Sometimes he threw and landed two or three punches, but they had no effect on Roch.
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About a minute before the end of the fifth round counterattack, a left overhand cross to the head. Young was going down, but the bottom rope held him up. Young wavered as referee Thomas Taylor counted to 8. Taylor waved off to end the fight at 2:15 after determining Young was too unstable to continue.
“I’m very hard on myself,” Rocha said after the fight. “I still think I can grow.
“I knew he would dictate the pace, but I knew he would be confident. I knew from the first round that the left hand would be there. My trainer told me to line up and explode a straight left over or overhead. That’s how I was able to get this knockdown.”
Rocha, who grew up in nearby Santa Ana, has been mentioned as a potential opponent for WBO titleholder Terence Crawford following his win over Ashie, but Crawford will now face titleholder Errol Spence in a highly anticipated bout on July 29 in Las Vegas.
The 25-year-old is a mandatory challenger for the WBO title.
Rocha has won his last seven fights since his only loss at the hands of Rashidi Ellis in October 2020. He is the younger brother of former junior featherweight world title challenger Ronny Rios.
Young, who lives in Atlantic City, New Jersey, drops to 24-3, 8 KOs. Prior to his loss to Rocha, the 35-year-old had 13 consecutive wins to his name, including a knockout victory over former world junior middleweight champion Sadam Ali in May 2019.
Francisco A. Salazar has been writing for The Ring since October 2013 and has been boxing in Southern California and internationally since 2000. Francisco also writes about boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. You can reach it at (email protected)