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Giovani Santillan Brutally Stops Alexis Rocha In Upset Win

Giovani Santillan upsets Alexis Rocha

Boxing News

Giovani Santillan Brutally Stops Alexis Rocha In Upset Win

Photo credit: Cris Esqueda/Golden Boy Promotions

Giovani Santillan Brutally Stops Alexis Rocha In Upset Win

In an upset, Giovani Santillan (32-0, 17 KOs) knocked out WBO #1 welterweight contender Alexis Rocha (23-2, 15 KOs) at the 1:13 mark of round six. The fight headlined a Golden Boy Promotions card at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, CA, that aired live on DAZN. Despite being a 10-1 underdog, Santillan managed to pull off the victory.

Santillan came forward in the opening round, keeping Rocha along the ropes. Blood also began to pour from the nose of Rocha in this round. Both men swung at each other in the second, but Santillan continued to walk down Rocha. Though Rocha had his moments of success, Santillan’s aggression helped him to win the rounds.

Within the first 30 seconds of round five, Santillan sent Rocha to the canvas for the first time in the fight. Santillan continued to apply the pressure and dropped Rocha again in the second half of the round. Despite going to the canvas twice, Rocha was able to make it into round six. A minute of rest did little to help Rocha as Santillan landed multiple uppercuts, dropping Rocha to the canvas. It was at this point that referee Ray Corona waved off the fight.

The win will definitely have an impact on the current welterweight landscape. Although all the belts are in the hands of undisputed champion Terence Crawford, Rocha was in line to challenge for the WBO title. Santillan, ranked fifth at the time of writing, can expect a ranking boost in the coming days and could be in line to challenge for the belt when the opportunity arises.

Giovani Santillan post-fight comments

“Alexis is a great fighter, very strong,” said Santillan after the fight. “I think he showed that in the fight. Very tough, he got up twice. But it is the result that we were looking for…He’s strong. I definitely felt the power, but I felt good in there, I felt comfortable.”

Muciño vs. Fundora recap

Gabriela Fundora (12-0, 5 KOs, 1 NC) became the new IBF flyweight champion with a knockout win over Arely Muciño (32-4-2, 11 KOs, 1 NC). The stoppage occurred at the 1:18 mark of round five. Fundora, sister of super welterweight contender Sebastian, is now a titleholder at just 21 years old.

The fight began with Muciño coming forward and exchanging hooks with Fundora. It was Fundora who got the better of the exchanges as she visibly shook Muciño, backing her into a corner towards the end of round one. This continued into the later rounds with Fundora using her reach to prevent Muciño from landing any of her swinging hooks.

In round five, Muciño went to the canvas for the first time in the fight following a right hook and straight left hand. Following a barrage of punches from Fundora, referee Jack Reiss halted the action to call a second knockdown, indicating that the ropes held up Muciño. At this moment, Muciño’s corner threw in the towel to signify the end of the fight.

Rocha vs. Santillan undercard results

John Ramírez (13-0, 9 KOs) knocked out Ronal Batista (15-4, 9 KOs) in a twelve-round super flyweight clash. Batista went to the canvas after being hit by a left hook to the body in the fourth round. Following a barrage of punches from Ramírez, referee Reiss waved off the fight at the 2:33 mark of round four. This clash was to originally take place on the Gilberto Ramírez-Joe Smith Jr. card on October 7. Due to visa issues, the fight was pushed to October 21.

Ricardo Sandoval (23-2, 16 KOs) won a unanimous decision against Victor Sandoval (37-4, 23 KOs) in a ten-round flyweight bout. Scores were 97-93 (x2) and 96-94 in a fight that saw a lot of back-and-forth action.

Opening the televised portion of the undercard, Joeshon James (8-0-2, 5 KOs) beat David Stevens (13-1, 9 KOs) via first round knockout in an eight-round super middleweight clash. James went to the canvas twice before an onslaught of punches caused referee Jerry Cantu to stop the action at the 2:52 mark.

In the untelevised portion of the undercard, Iyana Verduzco (1-0, 0 KOs) won via unanimous decision against Clarice Morales (0-3-1, 0 KOs). Scores for this super featherweight bout were 40-36 and 39-37 (x2).

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Currently writing out of Toronto, Canada, Saadeq first became a boxing fan while living in Doha, Qatar. Looking to become more involved in the sport, he began writing about boxing and has had work published in outlets such as Seconds Out and Boxing Social. He looks forward to continue covering boxing on Big Fight Weekend.

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