Alexis Rocha Prefers the Humble Road to Success as He Looks to Defeat Brad “King” Solomon
By: Jeandra Lebeauf
On February 14, Alexis Rocha looks the reach the next level in his career when he faces off against Brad “King” Solomon on the Garcia vs. Fonseca undercard. On the line are both Rocha’s undefeated record and the WBC Continental Americas welterweight champion belt.
The 22-year-old southpaw from Santa Ana competes in one of boxing’s most competitive divisions, welterweight. A class where champions Errol Spence Jr., Manny Pacquiao, and Terence Crawford, are perched and a host of combatants await their opportunity. For Rocha, who is currently ranked 28 by the WBC, facing off against Solomon is the next step in a long road that he hopes will lead him to welterweight supremacy. Though his record is absent of knockouts (18-0-0), he won’t be turning down any opportunities to make a statement win if the opportunity presents itself.
“The thing is you gotta, win these fights very impressively. I feel like if you go in there and just straight up beat this guy beat whoever is in front of you. People love seeing knockouts and I’m not saying I go in there to look for a knockout, but I’m looking to go in there and hurt an opponent.”
In an era when the knockout percentages and social media numbers are used as indicators of success, Rocha says he prefers the traditional route. Showing his skills in the ring and staying out of what he calls “flamboyant stuff.” Favoring a more low-key existence, Rocha makes it clear his intention is to let his ring work do the talking.
“I show my skills in the ring. I don’t like going on social media, doing all that flamboyant stuff. That’s just not my personality. My personality is to be humble and driven and proving myself in the ring. That’s what really counts.”
As a southern California local, Rocha will have a large contingency ready to cheer him on when he enters the Honda Center on Friday. Mature and focused, Rocha is happy for the support but explains why it won’t be a distraction for him.
“It means the world to me. It pushes me extra to know there are fans out there that want to go and spend their money and see me perform. I feel no pressure at all. It’s my time to go out there and shine.”
Alexis Rocha vs Brad “King” Solomon will compete on the Ryan Garcia vs. Francisco Fonfesca on February 14 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. The bout will be Rocha’s 4th defense of the WBC Continental Americas welterweight title.
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.”