Alexis Rocha has a new opponent for his 2023 debut.
BoxingScene.com has learned that Ghana’s George Ashie has been tabbed to face Rocha atop Saturday’s DAZN show from YouTube Theater in Inglewood, California. Ashie was brought in as a very late replacement for Atlantic City’s Anthony Young (24-2, 8KOs), who originally accepted the fight but was since removed from the main event for undisclosed reasons.
The bout still moves forward as a scheduled twelve-round contest for Rocha’s WBO-NABO regional title.
Ashie (33-5-1, 25KOs) will make his stateside debut with the fight, which also marks just his fourth career appearance outside of his native Ghana. The 38-year-old journeyman is winless on the road, with all three occasions taking place in the United Kingdom, including a narrow points loss to Stephen Ormond in August 2018, his last fight outside of his home country and also his last defeat.
A five-fight win streak has followed for Ashie, who was never stopped in 39 career bouts. In his most recent affair, Ashie scored an eighth-round knockout of unbeaten countryman Robert Quaye last March 6 in Accra.
Rocha (22-1, 13KOs) has also won five straight heading into Saturday, though against significantly stronger competition as he has emerged as a top contender.
The 25-year-old southpaw from nearby Santa Ana, California enjoyed a three-win campaign in 2022, including a ninth-round knockout of Blair Cobbs last March 19 in Los Angeles. The grudge match was elevated to the main event after Vergil Ortiz Jr. fell ill ahead of fight week and was forced to withdraw from a planned bout versus Michael McKinson. Rocha rose to the occasion, tearing through the unbeaten Cobbs en route to his best win to date.
Rocha is coming off a ten-round decision victory over Jesus Antonio Perez just three months ago on an October 29 DAZN show from Pechanga Arena in San Diego. His name has been floated as a strong candidate to next challenge WBO welterweight titlist and pound-for-pound entrant Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford (39-0, 30KOs), though such rumors are limited to loose talk at the moment.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox