Santillan Crushes Rocha In Six
By Igor Frank
Photos: William Trillo
Inglewood, California - In the main event of the evening
undefeated underdog from San Diego, Giovanni Santillan
(32-0,17 KO’s) systematically broke down and stopped
crowd favorite Alexis Rocha (23-2,15 KO’s) from Santa
Ana, California in a breathtaking welterweight contest
that was scheduled for twelve rounds.
The stunned crowd at The Kia Forum witnessed a dramatic
ending at 1:13 of the sixth stanza as hard charging
Santillan unleashed a rapid-fire series of right hooks
that deposited Rocha on his knees for the third time in
the contest and forced referee Ray Corona to wave it
“It was the outcome we were looking for,” said Santillan
at the post-fight interview. “Alexis is a great fighter
and he is tough. He got up twice and he’s never been
stopped before.” Bloodied from the very first round
Rocha did put up a valiant effort, firing heavy body
blows, trying to slow down a seemingly unstoppable
opponent. Unfortunately, on this night Rocha didn’t have
enough firepower to hold off his adversary. Energized,
Santillan revved up his engine in the fifth and
overwhelmed Rocha with a barrage of punches from
everywhere, dropping him twice before a violent
conclusion in the sixth.
“I am sorry to all my fans,” said Rocha who seemed
devastated by the loss. “I will be back.”
Santillan, a heavy underdog in this contest who asked
his promoter to make this fight was extremely satisfied.
He said, “It’s different with all these people here and
when you’re the B-side. He brought all his fans and his
supporters which makes boxing a great sport. 2024 is
going to be a great year for me.”
In the co-feature local boy John “Scrappy” Ramirez
(13-0,9 KO’s) scorched his opponent from Panama Ronal
Batista (15-4,9 KO’s) with a left hook to the body in
the fourth round. “This was a result of staying focused
and making the necessary adjustments,” said Ramirez in
the post-fight interview.
In a flyweight contest of Sandoval’s, Ricardo from
nearby Rialto won a hard fought unanimous decision over
Mexican counterpart Victor from Tijuana. Judges scored
the battle 97-93 twice and 96-94 for Ricardo Sandoval.
An exciting new champion has emerged on the female
boxing scene as Coachella’s own, Gabriella Fundora
(12-0,5 KO’s) stopped seasoned veteran Arely Mucino
(32-4-2,11 KO’s) from Monterey , Mexico in the fifth
round, thus earning IBF Flyweight title.
In the opening bout, decorated amateur from San
Fernando, California, Iyana Verduzco scored an
impressive win in her pro debut over Clarice Morales
from Toledo, Ohio. The Judges agreed and scored the bout
40-36 and 39-37 twice.
Super middleweight from Sacramento, California Joeshon
James (8-0-2, 5 KO’s) stunned the crowd and his
previously unbeaten opponent David Stevens (13-1,9 KO’s)
with the first round knockout.