Alexis Rocha: “I Come To Get You Out Of There.”


By: Sean Crose

“I’ve always had that professional style,” says 10-0 California welterweight Alexis Rocha, “ever since the amateurs.” Having scored seven of his ten pro wins within the distance, it’s easy to see how the jump from amateur to professional boxer was less than strenuous for the twenty year old. “I’ve never been about that pitter-pat, get your pitter-pat and score your points,” he adds. “I’ve always been the guy to go in there and settle down on my punchers and knock you out. And be patient at the same time.”

Some fighters romance time spent in the amateur ranks. That certainly isn’t the case with Rocha. “I love it way better than the amateurs,” he says of being a paid boxer. “You’re getting paid to do what you love.” Another reason Rocha prefers the pros is that his preferred fighting style didn’t always gel within the amateur ranks. “I feel that’s cost me many fights,” he claims. “Like I said, I always had a professional style and amateurs don’t look at that. It’s about getting your points and moving out of there.” Here is a man who is clearly more comfortable in the big leagues. “They don’t even count body shots,” he says of amateur judges. “I’m known for body shots.”


Photo Credit: Golden Boy Boxing Twitter Accout

Rocha, it should be said, comes from a fighting family. He’s the brother of the WBC silver featherweight titlist Ronny Rios, but the family connections don’t end there. “My oldest brother (Salvatore Rios) used to box. He was the gateway for all of us to start boxing,” states Rocha. “He started boxing first. Ronny tagged along, then – little by little – I tagged along.” Though Rocha adds that his “little brother had no interesting boxing whatsoever.”

Boxing has clearly made the young fighter’s life interesting. “I’ve been to countless states. I’ve been to about four countries: Russian, Ukraine, Germany and Italy,” he says. Yet boxing hasn’t always made life easy for Rocha. Time spent away from school, for instance, certainly took it’s toll. “They gave me packets of homework, these little study guides,” he says. “For a little bit, I was going to go into independent studies, but man it was hard. I’m not going to lie. It was miserable getting packets of homework, getting back, being behind, (and) basically failing every class. So it was up to me to get back in school and just start studying for every test and passing every test.”

Now that his high school days are over, however, Rocha is focused on the task of prizefighting. “I make weight comfortable,” he says of fighting as a welterweight at 5’10 ½ inches tall. “I’m always under. I’ve never been on the dot and for every fight I’ve been underweight by at least half a pound. I make it comfortable. Yet again, I’m still only 20 years old. I feel like I’m definitely maturing and I’ve still got my baby muscles.” There’s a good chance he’ll eventually move up in weight, then? “I’m barely 20,” he says, “but hopefully within the years, as time goes on, I want to move up to 154.”

Rocha is also comfortable with his ring skills and potential. “I’m a boxer puncher,” says Rocha. “I come to get you out of there, but I don’t just look for one punch. I put my punches together. I start everything off with the jab.” Rocha makes it clear, though, that he’s no wild man in the ring. “I’m very patient,” he says. “I don’t go out there reckless. I go out there using the stiff jab, working the body breaking this guy down.”

Although he’s still fairly new to the game, Rocha has an eye on the wider scene around him. “It’s stacked,” Rocha says of the welterweight division. “You’ve got great opposition out there. It’s great. You’ve got Keith Thurman, Errol Spence. I feel like I’m developing into a strong welterweight and I feel that I will be the next one forty seven welterweight superstar out there. I have the ability. I have the confidence in my ability to do it.”

Oscar De La Hoya certainly has confidence in Rocha, who he signed onto his Golden Boy stable. “Oscar De La Hoya, that was the guy I just looked up to from the Olympics all the way up to the end of his career,” says Rocha. “The dream’s turning to reality. It’s crazy.” Having strong backing certainly helps to make the future promising. “It’s definitely a big motivation, a big blessing, to be signed with Golden Boy,” he says. Still, Rocha likes to keep things in perspective.“My plans are always the same. I’ve always got to look forward to the fight in front of me.” With an eye, of course, on the future.

“Hopefully,” he says, “by next year, early next year, I’ll be fighting for something big.”

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