Munguia-Rosado undercard: Rocha KO 9 Barraza, Ballard UD Valenzuela, Zepeda KO 4 Moralde
Once-beaten welterweight up-and-comer Alexis Rocha punished overmatched Jeovanis Barraza en route to a ninth-round mercy stoppage in the co-featured bout to the Jamie Munguia-Gabriel Rosado main event on Saturday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Munguia-Rosado, Rocha-Barraza and two other undercard bouts of the Golden Boy Promotions event were streamed live on DAZN.
Barraza (23-2, 15 KOs) proved to be a durable opponent and showed a lot of heart by lasting into the ninth round, but he was soundly outworked by the heavy-handed Rocha, who put on a merciless body shot clinic as he marched forward for eight rounds. A barrage of power shots finally prompted referee Ray Corona to stop the beating 33 seconds into ninth round of the scheduled 10 rounder.
Rocha (18-1, 12 KOs) looked sharp as he purposefully walked down the 26-year-old Colombian behind a stiff southpaw jab and hard straight lefts to the body. Whenever he pressed Barraza’s back to the ropes, he unleashed accurate three-and four-punch combinations to the body and head.
Rocha’s pressure and power kept Barraza mainly in a defensive posture, which consisted of covering up behind a high guard. However, Barraza sporadically punched back enough to remain in the fight although Corona watched him closely during the late rounds.
Rocha, a 24-year-old native of Santa Ana, California, is now two bout removed from the only loss of his pro career, a 10-round unanimous decision to Rashidi Ellis last October.
Ballard UD 10 Valenzuela
Middleweight fringe contender D’Mitrius Ballard remained unbeaten with a unanimous 10-round decision over gutsy Paul Valenzuela Jr., but the Maryland native did not impress as he shook off the ring rust from nearly two years of inactivity.
Ballard (21-0-1, 13 KOs), who was stunned in Round 2, was caught with several left hooks and looping right hands from the wild-swinging journeyman during the early rounds of the bout. The bravado and unorthodox style of Valenzuela (26-10, 17 KOs), who had the edge in activity having fought three times in the 23-month span that Ballard was out of the ring, clearly troubled the favored American up-and-comer.
However, by the middle rounds the methodical pressure, cleaner technique and more consistent punchout began to get to the 34-year-old Mexican veteran. Ballard outworked and out-landed Valenzuela as he walked the underdog down in the final three rounds, securing unanimous scores of 98-92 that most observers viewed as too wide.
Zepeda KO 4 Moralde
In the opening bout of the DAZN broadcast, William Zepeda, The Ring’s No. 10-rated lightweight, stopped his 14th consecutive opponent en route to extending his unbeaten record to 24-0 when he overwhelmed John Vincent Moralde in Round 4 of a scheduled 10-round bout.
Zepeda (24-0, 22 KOs), a 25-year-old volume-punching pressure fighter from San Mateo Atenco, Mexico, set a torrid pace that Moralde, a 27-year-old former featherweight/junior lightweight fringe contender, simply could not keep up with. The outgunned Filipino turned his back to Zepeda, signaling his surrender to referee Edward Hernandez Sr. just under the 2-minute mark of Round 4, after being forced against the ropes.
Zepeda averaged 104 punches per round, according to CompuBox. In Round 4, he landed 59 of 107 total punches in just 119 seconds of action.
Zepeda is beginning to make a name for himself in the U.S. following a fifth-round KO against once-beaten countryman Francisco Hernandez in November 2020 and a six-round stoppage of previously unbeaten prospect Hector Tanajara Jr. in July.
After his most recent KO performance it’s safe to say that the relentless southpaw has become must-see TV for hardcore fans.