For years, Golden Boy Promotions had two strong contenders in the welterweight division and there was once an apparent plan to guide Vergil Ortiz to one world title, and Alexis Rocha to another, so that the Los Angeles-based boxing company can organize an in-house unification involving their bright stars.
The fighters kept doing what they did best — winning. However, in recent years, Ortiz has withdrawn from fights citing injury, or illness.
Suddenly, that big fight looked like it may not materialize, and, when speaking to ProBox TV this week, Rocha even said that he expects Ortiz to leave welterweight and move to a higher division where his health issues may be less of a concern.
"With Vergil's situation it's very unfortunate with his health on the line," Rocha told us. "He's a big guy. I've seen him, I've been with him. He's a big dude, and I don't think he can make 147, anymore."
Ortiz has built a reputation as one of boxing's big punchers as the 25-year-old has finished every opponent he's ever faced.
That career, though, has been spent at welterweight and lower weight class limits.
But Rocha believes it's time he moved to "154, or even 160," he said. "Because he's that big of a guy."
Rocha continued: "I think he's going to move up a division.
"And, hust looking out for his career, too, because though I'm a fighter, I'm a fan, too, and I'm a fan of Vergil Ortiz."
Rocha, meanwhile, continues with his own career as he headlines a Golden Boy event involving Giovani Santillan, as the 147-pounders will come to blows at the Kia Forum in Inglewood in what is expected to be the toughest test of each fighter's respective careers.
The show airs on DAZN.