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  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 off.

“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.


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