Home Boxing News Alexis Rocha risks shot at Terence Crawford by taking on Giovani Santillan...

Alexis Rocha risks shot at Terence Crawford by taking on Giovani Santillan on October 21

Alexis Rocha and Giovani Santillan. Photo credit: Golden Boy/Cris Esqueda

In an intriguing clash of welterweight contenders Alexis ‘Lex’ Rocha 23-1 (15) will take on undefeated Giovani ‘Gallo de Oro’ Santillan 31-0 (16) at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, California on October 21.

Southpaw Rocha, 26, of Irvine, California is riding high on the back of a seven fight win streak including five knockouts since his close 12-round unanimous decision loss to Rashidi Ellis 24-1 (15) three years ago.

The WBO number one contender at 147-pounds will risk his top ranking against Santillan.

“Well, first off I just want to thank God, without him none of this was possible,” Rocha said. “Also want to thank Golden Boy Promotions, my team, my head coach Hector Lopez, Abraham Perez and TKO Boxing.

“It takes a team, a dedicated team, to get where I’m at today. I feel that I’ve grown so much over time and now’s my moment and I want to keep just banging on the door for a world title.

“I know that Giovani is gonna be a good opponent. I’m not thinking about [undisputed welterweight champion Terence] Crawford, for me this is a world title shot, this is a world title fight.”

San Diego’s Santillan, a fellow southpaw, believes their two styles will mesh well to create a memorable event.

“This is going to be an exciting fight, we’re both Mexican fighters,” the 31-year-old said. “You know, we have that Mexican blood inside of us, you know, and we’re gonna come with that fire for sure.

“This isn’t the first time that I go into enemy territory. You know, the last time I did that I fought this guy Sammy [Valentin] and I went all the way to Tampa Bay for that fight. As I’m walking into the ring, I hear all his fans cheering for him and talking a lot of trash about me. But afterwards, his fans became my fans and I believe that I can do that for this fight. I think that I will gain the LA fan base after this fight.”

Promotor Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions said: “As Golden Boy, we know our position, we know exactly what we have to do in order to position that fighter to get them to that world title. Alexis Rocha is knocking on the door. Giovani has an amazing opportunity. So this is what boxing is all about.

“My pro debut was at the Kia Forum. The Forum is a very special arena. It’s built like a bowl, so every seat is a great seat. But most importantly, the fans appreciate a great fight. Obviously, this is no exception.

“I think that Alexis Rocha has proven that he belongs in this spot, that he has what it takes to become a world champion.

“Just to give you a little history about what’s going on with Crawford and the WBO, there’s a WBO convention coming up where Crawford will be making his decision whether he’s going up to 154 or he’s staying at 147. So therefore, it will dictate what next move we will be making for Rocha.

“But first thing is first, he has a very difficult tough opponent in front of him. I strongly feel that Giovani with his undefeated record is coming with everything, guns blazing.”