Oscar De La Hoya Reacts To Giovani Santillan Win Over Alexis Rocha
By Brian Webber: Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya was pleasantly surprised by the sixth round knockout victory by Giovani Santillan (32-0, 17 KOs) over Alexis Rocha (23-2, 15 KOs) in their welterweight contest on Saturday night at the KIA Forum in Inglewood, California.
(Photo Credit: Golden Boy / Cris Esqueda)
De La Hoya looked wide-eyed and smiling like the Cheshire Cat while discussing the victory by Santillan, which shocked him because he came into the with only 16 knockouts of his 31 wins.
The knockout wasn’t because of Santillan being a massive puncher, but rather an accumulation of shots from the combinations that he was hitting defensively deficient Rocha with.
Santillan’s rabbit punching
The referee failed to penalize Santillan for the rabbit punching he was doing throughout the fight, and that may have set the table for the knockout of Rocha in the sixth.
Although the referee Ray Corona gave two warnings for the rabbit shots from Santillan, he never docked a point from him or gave Rocha time to recover.
Santillan was hitting Rocha with every shot he threw in the fight. He literally couldn’t miss if he tried, as Rocha was incapable of defending himself at all.
In hindsight, Rocha could have used his feet to avoid the pressure from Santillan to save himself from taking so much punishment, but he didn’t do it.
He just stood there soaking up shots from Santillan like a punching bag, and it was only a matter of time before he was knocked out.
“Man, he had a lot of energy, Santillan. He has fifteen knockouts. I have never him like that ever,” said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya to Fighthype, reacting to Giovani Santillan’s sixth round knockout victory over Alexis ‘Lex’ Rocha on Saturday night.
It’s going to be interesting to see what De La Hoya does with Rocha because after this loss, it might not be worth it to keep him with Golden Boy.
If De La Hoya thinks he can be rebuilt from the ground up, it might be worth it to keep him in the Golden Boy stable, but realistically, this is as good as it gets with him. Oscar might as well terminate his contract.
“He did a great job, a good performance, a lot of energy. Wow,” said De La Hoya.
Santillan wants Terence Crawford or Mario Barrios next
“All respect to Lex. I knew it was going to be a tough fight. I had to be careful in there and defensively smart,” said Santillan to ESNEWS. “I appreciate him taking the fight. Let’s do it,” said Santillan when asked if he’s ready to take on WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford next.”If he wants to take it, let’s do it.
Let’s get something straight. Crawford will NOT be fighting Santillan or any of his mandatory challengers because he only wants the big-money fights that Canelo Alvarez, Jermell Charlo, and Errol Spence Jr. will provide for him.
He’s not going to want to return to bother defending his WBO belt against his mandatory Santillan because if he did that, he would receive abuse from fans for not defending against his IBF mandatory Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis.
“I was looking at the Mario Barrios fight the other day. That’s another fight that I want,” said Santillan. “He has the [WBC welterweight] interim title, and I want it. I feel good, but I feel like it’s just the beginning. We’re just getting started. There’s a lot of work to be done still.”
Barrios isn’t going to fight Santillan because he already has the WBC interim 147-lb title, so he’s going to stay in a holding pattern until he gets a title shot.
“They were very excited and helpful in the corner. I’m happy to make them proud,” said Santillan about his training team. “It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this. I’m happy to get it.”