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  Rocha Outclasses Cobbs

By Albert Castillo
Photos: Tom Hogan - Golden Boy


From the Galen Center at the University of Southern California, Golden Boy Promotions featured an exciting night of boxing that provided great entertainment for the 8,000 plus in attendance and everyone who tuned in on DAZN TV. In the main event of the evening this highly anticipated grudge match resulted in the colorful, trash talking, Blair Cobbs (15-1-1, 10 KO’s) getting his comeuppance. Fit, ready, and determined, Alexis Rocha (19-1, 13 KO’s) provided the karma to Cobbs’ self-created drama.

Entering the fifth round the fight was close with both fighters hitting the mark with various head and body shots. Near the end of the round Rocha capitalized on southpaw Cobbs’ low held right hand. Rocha, himself a southpaw delivered a crunching left hand over Cobbs’ right which shook Cobbs, and Rocha followed up with a five-punch combination that went unanswered.

Over the next two rounds Cobbs danced around the ring not wanting to engage with Rocha again. At one point Rocha stepped back and asked Cobbs if he was going to fight or dance. In the eight round Rocha’s left hand again found the mark again, dropping Cobbs in a heap. Cobbs managed to get to his feet but defeat was written across his face.

Finally in the ninth round Rocha closed in to deliver a devastating barrage of combinations as Cobbs leaned back onto the ropes. The crowd was yelling and, on its feet, clamoring for Rocha to deliver more punishment. Cobbs' hands dropped and he was defenseless. Mercifully, referee Rudy Barragan stopped the fight sensing that Cobbs was in grave danger. Rocha victorious by knockout at 1:24 of the ninth round.

“I got the knockout but I know I could’ve done better,” said Alexis Rocha. “It took me quite a while to adjust. He was running, very awkward at first. This is what I need so I can develop as an all around fighter. It took me awhile since I wasn’t listening to my coach. I was getting careless, only throwing one shot, not cutting the ring and not throwing my combinations. I could have gotten him out of there sooner. I just want to give a big shoutout to everyone from Santa Ana. The only round that I actually let my hands go I followed him up. That’s what put him down, me throwing combinations. I want to give Blair credit. He was a tough opponent, he was awkward and he did a lot of trash talking but you don’t play with Mexico. Viva Mexico!”

Measured by the booing that accompanied this fight throughout every round it must be said that pusillanimous styles are not made for boxing. In this slap and tickle matchup Britain’s undefeated Michael McKinson (22-0, 2 KO’s) somehow outpointed Alex Martin. (17-4, 6 KO’s). If more than 10 punches landed throughout the fight the fans would be surprised. The judges’ scorecards read 99-91, 98-92, and 97-93 all for McKinson. How they arrived at those scores is a mystery.

“It was basically a clash of styles,” said Michael McKinson. Two tricky southpaws which I expected. “I didn’t feel like I was losing too many rounds. With me fighting someone so negative, I didn’t look my best which wasn’t as exciting to the crowd. I had to stick to the game plan and be patient. I kept my distance and when I threw my shots I had to make them count.”

“I think he’s average,” said Alex Martin. “If we fight again in a rematch I’ll stop him. I’m not being arrogant. My timing just wasn’t there, I couldn’t click. He had good distance which surprised me because I’m usually the one keeping my distance. I was basically fighting myself.

Following a first round booing from the crowd as a result of inaction Bektemir Melikuziev (9-1, 7 KO’s) came alive in the second round delivering a solar plexus shot to David Zegarra (34-8, 21 KO’s) which dropped Zegarra at 30 seconds of the second round. Zegarra grimaced in pain and made it to one knee while attempting to breathe but could not continue and the fight was called. Melikuziev earns his 7th knockout. Melikuziev in the post fight interview, “Everything feels good and this went like I expected it to go,” said Bektemir Melikuziev. “The only thing on my mind is a re-match with Gabe Rosado.”

Welterweight sensation Evan Anthony Sanchez (11-0, 6 KO’s) zeroed in on the head and body of Colombian born, Alejandro Munera, (6-5-4, 5 KO’s) to score a unanimous decision win. Sanchez displayed impressive skills throughout the fight. His counter punching was on point tattooing Munera’s head with straight left hands and a right hook that dropped Munera in the 4th round. Sanchez’ defense consisted of the classic bob and weave with a slick shoulder roll.

Although his counter punching served him well, his aggression in the last round would have garnered him a knockout had he taken that approach earlier in the fight. All judges scored the fight 60-53. Sanchez remains undefeated paving his road to success. “My plan all along was to outbox him,” said Evan Sanchez. “In the first two rounds I got a little wild and he caught me with some shots. I fixed myself after the third round and did way better. He could take a shot. I went to the body and he was taking them. Hopefully you see me next month. I want to get prospect of the year.”


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