LOS ANGELES – Alexis Rocha didn’t get the knockout Saturday night that the wide odds on his fight with Luis Veron indicated was inevitable.
The developing welterweight did defeat the reluctant Argentinean convincingly on the scorecards in DAZN’s co-feature before Ryan Garcia and Javier Fortuna fought in the 12-round main event at Crypto.com Arena. Rocha, a southpaw from Santa Ana, California, spent much of their 10-round, 147-pound bout chasing Veron around the ring.
Judges Rudy Barragan (100-90) and Lou Moret (100-90) scored it a shutout for Rocha, who improved to 20-1 (13 KOs). Judge Fernando Villarreal credited Rocha for winning nine rounds, 99-91.
Rocha, who was a 30-1 favorite, hurt Veron several times, but he couldn’t drop an opponent who hasn’t been stopped in six years as a pro. Buenos Aires’ Veron (19-5-2, 9 KOs) is 1-4 in his past five fights.
Rocha has won four consecutive contests since Rashidi Ellis (24-0, 15 KOs) dealt him his lone loss, a 12-round unanimous decision in October 2020 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California.
A left hand by Rocha sent Veron into retreat during the ninth round, but he survived that trouble and eventually made it to the final bell.
Rocha spent much of the sixth, seventh and eighth rounds chasing a reluctant Veron, who only occasionally threw punches.
Rocha stung Veron with a left hand that knocked him into the ropes 40 seconds into the fifth round. An aggressive Rocha continued to stalk Veron for the remainder of the fifth round and landed several more power punches that affected him.
With just over two minutes to go in the fourth round, Rocha caught Veron with a right hook that made Veron move away from him. Rocha drilled Veron with a right to his body and then a left downstairs that made Veron retreat again.
Rocha attacked Veron’s body and then landed a right hook up top with just over a minute on the clock in the third round.
A left hand by Rocha backed Veron into the ropes 1:20 into the second round.
Rocha connected with a left to Veron’s body toward the end of the opening round. Veron mostly covered up and tried to stay out of Rocha’s punching range in that opening round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.