Alexis Rocha breaks down Anthony Young, scores fifth round stoppage
INDIO, Calif. – Another fight, another win for Alexis Rocha.
Before a partisan crowd, Rocha broke down Anthony Young, eventually dropping him to the canvas and notching a knockout win in round 5 at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.
Rocha, who is ranked No. 10 by The Ring, improved to 22-1, 15 knockouts.
From the opening bell, the southpaw Rocha was dominant, landing at will. Any time he would initiate an exchange, Young would immediately tie up or clench.
Young did little to engage, backing up cautiously and keeping his distance from Rocha. At times, he would throw and land two to three punches, but they had no effect on Rocha.
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With about a minute left in the fifth round, a counter, overhand left cross to the head. Young was on his way down but the bottom rope kept him propped up. Young staggered as referee Thomas Taylor administered an 8-count. Taylor waved the fight off at 2:15 after determining Young was too unstable to continue.
“I’m very hard on myself,” said Rocha after the fight. “I still think I can develop.
“I knew he was going to dictate the pace, but I knew he was going to come in confident. I knew from the opening round that left hand was going to be there. My coach told me to set up and explode with the straight left over or overhand. That’s how I was able to score that knockdown.”
Rocha, who grew up in nearby Santa Ana, was mentioned as a possible opponent for WBO world titleholder Terence Crawford after the win over Ashie, but Crawford will now face unified titleholder Errol Spence in a long-awaited clash on July 29 in Las Vegas.
The 25-year-old is the mandatory challenger for the WBO title.
Rocha has now won his last seven fights since his only loss at the hands of Rashidi Ellis in October 2020. He is the younger brother of former world junior featherweight title challenger Ronny Rios.
Young, who resides in Atlantic City, New Jersey, falls to 24-3, 8 KOs. Prior to the loss to Rocha, the 35-year-old had put together a string of 13 consecutive wins, including a knockout win over former world junior middleweight titleholder Sadam Ali in May 2019.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]