Solidifying his worthy place at No.1 on the WBO rankings, Alexis “Lex” Rocha (23-1,15 KOs) of Santa Ana successfully defended his NABO Welterweight title against Anthony “Juice” Young (24-3, 8 KOs) with a fifth-round knockout victory as the main event live on DAZN from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino and presented in association with Hard Hitting Promotions. The seventh time Rocha has fought in 23-months, his pressure on Young starting from the first round eventually broke the veteran fighter down. The referee stopped the fight at 2:25 in the fifth round.
“I knew he was going to come in with the same energy he did when he fought Sadam Ali, and I was ready for that,” said Alexis Rocha. “I want the winner of the Spence-Crawford fight, and I am confident with the help of my amazing promoter, Golden Boy and Oscar De La Hoya, we’ll make it happen.”
Special guests of the night included Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya, Golden Boy Partner Bernard Hopkins, Actor Gabriel Soto, Actor Alfie Allen, and a number of fighters including Rolando “Rolly” Romero, Jousce Gonzalez, Manuel “Gucci Manny Flores, Grant Flores, Jorge Chavez, Joet Gonzalez, Ricardo Sandoval, Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez, and Lorraine Villalobos.
In a dominant performance, lightweight fighter Oscar Duarte (26-1-1, 11 KOs) of Parral, Chihuahua added an 11th-straight knockout win to his resume as the co-main event that was presented in association with Cancun Boxing. Duarte sent his opponent D’Angelo “King” Keyes (17-3, 11 KOs) of Houston, Texas to the mat twice; once in the third round and in the seventh round. Originally scheduled for 10-rounds, Keyes only made it to the end of the seventh where his corner waived the white towel.
“This was an amazing fight, with a great rival who was incredibly tough and very prepared,” said Oscar Duarte. “From the beginning, our plan was to break him down little by little. As I said in previous interviews, I wasn’t going to go looking for the knockout, I just knew it was going to happen naturally just based on how well I had prepared and how I have matured physically and mentally. I would love a fight against William Zepeda.”
Making history for Villalba, Puerto Rico, Oscar “El Pupilo” Collazo (7-0, 4 KOs) etched his name amongst the greats of Puerto Rican fighters and his division by being the fastest to become a world champion in the minimumweight division. He became the new WBO Minimumweight Champion when his opponent, former champion of Santos City, Philippines, Melvin “Gringo” Jerusalem (20-2, 12 KOs) retired in his corner at the conclusion of the seventh round.
“We knew we had a solid challenge ahead of us, but thanks to my corner, they helped me stay calm throughout the fight,” said Oscar Collazo. “I knew I had to establish the pace with my jab, and by the fourth or fifth round we started to hit the body and he didn’t like it. We chopped the tree and we made history for Villalba. I will see you all in Puerto Rico in August, where I will make my first title defense.”
Opening the DAZN broadcast, Los Angeles’ John “Scrappy” Ramirez (12-0, 8 KOs) fought in one of his toughest fights yet against Riverside, CA’s warrior Fernando “Leoncito” Diaz (12-4-1, 4 KOs) in a 10-round super flyweight fight. Ramirez secured a split division victory with judges scoring the fight 96-94, 94-96, and 96-94.
The Golden Boy Fight Night: Rocha vs. Young Prelims, streamed live on the Golden Boy Boxing YouTube page, featured the highly anticipated debut of Eric Priest (10-0, 7 KOs) of Los Angeles under the Golden Boy Promotions banner. Priest faced a resilient fighter from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ricardo Villalba (20-9-1, 8 KOs), in an eight-round middleweight fight that went the distance. The judges scored the bout unanimously in favor of Priest with scores of 79-73, 80-72, 80-72.
In a pro-debut performance, recently signed Golden Boy prospect of Santa Ana, Johnny Cañas (1-0) secured an unanimous decision victory against the tough Jose Alvarado (1-8) of Puebla, Mexico. The judges scored the four-round super lightweight fight 40-36, 39-37, 39-37.
Opening fight night and the Golden Boy YouTube Prelims with a dazzling knockout in front of a hometown Coachella crowd, Leonardo “Bazooka” Sanchez (5-0, 4 KOs) added yet another highlight reel performance in his super featherweight fight against Uhlices Reyes (1-1, 1 KO) of Omaha, Nebraska. Scheduled for four-rounds, Sanchez sent Reyes to the mat once in the first round and twice during the second, ending the fight at 1:01 in second round.