Alexis Rocha is The Ring’s No. 5-rated welterweight. Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions
In a fight that could shake up the division, two of Southern California’s top welterweights will measure up against each other on October 21. The Ring’s No. 5-rated welterweight Alexis “Lex” Rocha (23-1, 15 KOs), of Santa Ana, will take on San Diego’s undefeated Giovani “Gallo de Oro” Santillan (31-0, 16 KOs) in a bout scheduled for 12-rounds.
Presented in association with Top Rank, the fight will take place at the famous Kia Forum in Inglewood, California and broadcast live worldwide on DAZN.
Rocha has steadily climbed to the top of the rankings with a highlight reel of deadly knockouts and toe-to-toe matchups. Since winning the NABO welterweight title in July 2022, the southpaw has successfully defended his title three times and is one of the busiest world contenders. His past main event performance against Anthony Young on May 27 demonstrated his surgical use of power bombs to break down his resilient opponent.
“October is a big month in my career. This is the type of match up that I have prepared for,” said Rocha. “I know my opponent and his entire team well. I respect them all, and I know I’ll need to be at my best come fight night. But that’s what I demand of myself in every fight and that’s what will happen come October 21. I will be at my best, and my best is at a different level. I know Giovani asked for this fight, but like my coach always says, be careful what you wish for.”
Santillan is ravenous for an opportunity to demonstrate that he is ready for a shot at a world title after more than a decade in the sport. With a spotless record, Santillan has proven he has the arsenal and the gas tank to go into deep waters with the toughest of boxing foes. The southpaw has also previously claimed ownership of the NABO welterweight title and successfully defended it twice in his boxing career. He was last seen in July in a competitive matchup against Ecuador’s Erick Bone that went the distance.
“I’ve been waiting a long time for an opportunity against a fighter of Rocha’s caliber. Defeating Rocha puts me in the world title mix and in position for even bigger fights, but I am focused on the task at hand,” Santillan said. “I wanted this fight, so as soon as Top Rank and my management told me this fight was happening, I was thrilled. This is my time, and I am going to take full advantage of this opportunity.”
“Alexis’ confidence and dedication can be seen in the fact that he fights more often than any contender in the sport and takes on all comers — including those with undefeated records,” said Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya. “While Lex fully deserves a title shot, he also knows the value of staying active as demonstrated by his vast improvement over the last few years. I expect another standout performance from the pride of Santa Ana and another step up the ladder of the welterweight division.”
“This is going to be a tremendous battle between two of Southern California’s welterweight warriors,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “I have no doubt Giovani will rise to the occasion. I also give Alexis Rocha credit for accepting this challenge. He is on the verge of a world title shot and risking a lot in facing Giovani. I can’t wait until October 21.”
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