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Alexis Rocha puts on an electrifying performance with ninth-round knockout of Blair Cobbs

Rocha-Cobbs_19032022 Tom Hogan/Golden Boy

When Alexis Rocha lost to Rashidi Ellis in October 2020 and suffered his first pro debut, he told DAZN News he had to change mentally to become a contender in the welterweight division. He did just that with back-to-back knockout wins in 2021. Could he bring that momentum heading into his first main event on Saturday against Blair Cobbs?

He did and then some as Rocha dropped and put a beating on Cobbs to win via knockout at 0:44 of the ninth round at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. DAZN News had it scored 77-74 for Rocha at the time of the stoppage. 

"Do not play with Mexicans," Rocha defiantly said in his post-fight interview with DAZN's Chris Mannix.

In the early going, Cobbs was having success. He was landing the quicker shots, but Rocha's shots were having more of an effect. The tide of the fight shifted and Rocha began to pull away in the fifth round.

Rocha (19-1, 13 KOs) was finding a home with the left hand. It didn't matter which direction it was coming from nor did it matter where it landed as it found a home more often than not. Several left hooks wobbled Cobbs and nearly had him out on his feet. But as he showed throughout the fight, Cobbs showed a ton of heart and survived the round. Rocha did more of the same in the sixth. But in between the sixth and seventh round, Cobbs' game plan changed as his head trainer Freddie Roach told him to start being more aggressive. 

Cobbs (15-1, 10 KOs) listened. He caught Rocha with two punches down the middle, which caught Rocha's attention, and snapped his head back both times. The momentum didn't last long for "Blair The Flair".

Rocha began the eighth like someone stole his lunch at school. He came out and unloaded one power shot after another. Finally, a right hand sent Cobbs to the canvas. Rocha looked to put Cobbs away. Instead, he rocked Cobbs with a right hook. The referee told Cobbs to show him something, or he'd stop it. A left-hand wobbled Cobbs, who was in survival mode and made it out of the round. Roach told Cobbs as soon as he got on the stool that he was going to stop if Cobbs didn't get it together in a hurry. 

Cobbs began the ninth going for the knockout. But Rocha had seen enough and closed the show with a couple of chopping lefts in the clinch that sent Cobbs wobbling to the ropes. Cobbs came out of the break, and an overhand right sent him back again. Rocha unloaded a barrage of shots until the referee stepped in and waved it off.

Here is what happened at Alexis Rocha vs. Blair Cobbs.

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Alexis Rocha stops Blair Cobbs

Rocha def. Cobbs via knockout at 0:44 of the ninth round.

Rocha didn't close the show in the eighth, but he made sure he did in the ninth. Cobbs began the round firing away. But Rocha closed the show with a couple of chopping lefts to send Cobbs wobbling to the ropes. Cobbs came out of the break and an overhand right sent him back again. 

Rocha unleashed an assault until the referee stepped in and waved it off.  

Rocha-Cobbs; Round 8

Rocha and Cobbs are swinging away to start the eighth. Short left for Cobbs. Rocha unloads a left and a right. A right sends Cobbs to the canvas for the first time.

Rocha rocks Cobbs again with a right hook. The referee tells Cobbs to show him something. A left-hand wobbles Cobbs. Cobbs is in survival mode for the second time in the fight. Rocha unloads at the end of the round, but the horn sounds. (10-8 Rocha, 77-74 Rocha)  

Rocha-Cobbs; Round 7

Rocha starts things off by pounding the left hand. He's just missing with the left to the head. The right hook connects for Rocha. A flush right hand by Cobbs catches Rocha's attention. Cobbs lets out a "Wooo" in the process. I think he needs to focus on the fight. 

Straight left down the pike snaps Rocha's head back. Much needed round for Cobbs. (10-9 Cobbs, 67-66 Rocha)

Rocha-Cobbs; Round 6

Rocha begins the sixth with a blistering hook to snap Cobbs' head back again. Cobbs with a crisp jab to keep some distance between them. Rocha narrowly misses a left. Another jab from Cobbs. Smart move here after what happened in the fifth. Three lefts just miss from Rocha. A right over the top lands from Rocha. Counter right hook for Cobbs. Rocha lands a right over the top. (10-9 Rocha, 58-56 Rocha)

Rocha-Cobbs; Round 5

A combination to the body to begin the fifth for Rocha. A left hand over the top lands for Rocha. Cobbs comes back with a sneaky body shot. Three left hands send Cobbs wobbling to the ropes. How does Cobbs react? Rocha is swinging for the fences. Another left hand catches Cobbs flush. Another left snaps Cobbs' head back. Cobbs still looks shaken. He needs to grab and hold. One more straight left reigns down for Rocha. 

A fantastic round for Rocha. Give Cobbs credit for surviving. (10-9 Rocha, 48-47 Rocha)

Rocha-Cobbs; Round 4

Swelling under the left eye of Rocha. Cobbs swings for the fences and lands a right hook. Rocha rebounds with a sweeping right hook. Straight left for Rocha. Rocha is walking Cobbs down with a straight right. Right to the body, which made Cobbs smile. Left hook to the side of Rocha's head from Cobbs. Another stiff jab for Rocha. He needs to keep pounding that home. (10-9 Rocha, 38-38)

Rocha-Cobbs; Round 3

Rocha walks Cobbs and flicks three consecutive jabs. Cobbs with hard rights to the body. A left uppercut to the chin by Cobbs. Straight left Cobbs. Cobbs comes in with a right, but Rocha fires a combination with a right hook stopping Cobbs for a moment. A straight left then a right buckles Rocha a little bit. A left sends Cobbs back. A left and then a jab from Rocha, but Cobbs comes right back with a right. (10-9 Cobbs, 29-28 Cobbs)

Rocha-Cobbs; Round 2

Cobbs fires a left and Rocha immediately fires a right hook. Stiff jab from Cobbs followed by a left hand. Straight left from Rocha stops Cobbs in his tracks. Two straight lefts from Rocha, which caught Cobbs' attention. The right hook connects for Rocha. Good left from Cobbs, but Rocha blasts a right hook. Good bounce-back round for Rocha. (10-9 Rocha, 19-19)

Rocha-Cobbs; Round 1

Both guys come right out and fire off jabs and left hands. Already more action than we saw in the previous contest. A combination from Cobbs. Right hand to the side of Rocha's head. Five-punch combination from Cobbs. Rocha comes back with a combination of his own, but Cobbs comes right back with a chopping left hand. Flurry from both guys on the inside to close the round. Good action. (10-9 Cobbs)

Main event time

It's time for the main event as Alexis Rocha (18-1, 12 KOs) battles Blair Cobbs (15-0, 10 KOs) in welterweight action. It's not the main event we were expecting, but it's the one we are getting. 

Former WWE superstar Kalisto walks Cobbs down to the ring. 

Dmitry Bivol speaks before main event

Dmitry Bivol talks about what he brings to the table on May 7 when he meets Canelo Alvarez on DAZN PPV in the United States and Canada (check your availability every where else in the world).

"I have good speed. I have good power," Bivol tells Chris Mannix.

Michael McKinson remains undefeated in tactical fight with Alex Martin

McKinson def. Martin via unanimous decision (99-91, 98-92, 97-93).

This one is best described as a strategic fight. Martin was throwing minimal shots while McKinson was staying active, applying pressure, and landing more shots. 99-91 was an atrocious scorecard, but the right man won as McKinson runs his record 22-0.

Have to give McKinson credit. He could have bowed out when Ortiz was forced from the show and unable to compete. He went through two opponent changes and still got it done. 

Crowd isn't happy

The crowd isn't too thrilled as at the end of the ninth round, they booed McKinson and Martin. However, it's hard to blame McKinson because he's at least trying to press the issue while Martin is content on sticking to his script.

Alexis Rocha is getting ready for Blair Cobbs

Halfway through

Through five, it's a tough one to score as there hasn't been a ton of action. Martin is content on boxing from the outside, and McKinson is starting to try and press the fight to no avail as he continues to swing and miss. 

Tactical contest through three

You'd be wrong if you were expecting a slugfest between McKinson and Martin. Instead, we've seen a boxing match through three rounds. Both have shown a good jab, but McKinson has the slight edge thus far. He's pressuring Martin and landing the harder shots, as he's moved Martin back a couple of times. 

Michael McKinson makes U.S. debut

It's time for the co-main event of Rocha vs. Cobbs as Michael McKinson (21-0, 2 KOs) squares off with Alex Martin (17-3, 6 KOs) in welterweight action. 

McKinson was scheduled to headline this event against Vergil Ortiz Jr., but Ortiz had to pull out early in the week. After that, McKinson was tabbed to face Jesus Antonio Perez Campos. But Campos wasn't going to make weight. So Martin stepped up to plate on 36 hours notice, as he moves up from 135 pounds. 

It's hard to predict how this is going to go. 

"Blair The Flair" has arrived

Bektemir Melikuziev stops David Zegarra with a violent body shot

Melikuziev def. Zegarra by knockout at 0:30 of the second round. 

After a methodical first round, Melikuziev wasted no time in the second, Melikuziev landed a crisp jab upstairs. Zegarra was unloading a right, Melikuziev closes the curtain with a short uppercut to send Zegarra to his knees writhing in pain. He kept holding his stomach and you knew he wasn't getting back up. 

That was one for the highlight reel. Must feel good for Melikuziev to come back from the Rosado and get a devastating KO.   

Bektemir Melikuziev returns

Up next at Rocha vs. Cobbs is Bektemir Melikuziev (8-1, 6 KOs) facing off against David Zegarra (34-7, 21 KOs) in light heavyweight action.

After losing to Gabe Rosado, Melikuziev returned in December with a unanimous decision win over Sergei Ekimov. WBA (super) light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol walked "Bek The Bully) down to the ring.

Bivol faces Canelo Alvarez on May 7, which can be seen on DAZN PPV in the United States and Canada. Check your availability if you are outside those regions. 

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