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’
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
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.”