NABO Welterweight Titleholder Alexis “Lex” Rocha (23-1, 15 KOs) of Santa Ana and San Diego’s undefeated Giovani “Gallo de Oro” Santillan (31-0, 16 KOs) hosted a kickoff press conference today at Golden Boy HQ. The two world title contenders discussed their upcoming 12-round clash that is presented in association with Top Rank and exclusively broadcast on DAZN. Scheduled for Saturday, October 21, the welterweight warriors will add their names to the exclusive list of legendary boxers who have fought at the Kia Forum ranging from Muhammad Ali to Golden Boy’s Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya.
This is what today's participants had to say:
ALEXIS ROCHA, NABO WELTERWEIGHT TITLEHOLDER:
"Well, first off I just want to thank God, without him none of this was possible. Also want to thank Golden Boy Promotions, my team, my head coach Hector Lopez, Abraham Perez, and TKO boxing."
"It takes a team, a dedicated team, to get where I'm at today. I feel that I've grown so much over time and now's my moment, and I want to keep just banging on the door for a world title. I know that Giovani is gonna be a good opponent. I'm not thinking about Crawford, for me, this is a world title shot, this is a world title fight."
GIOVANI SANTILLAN, WELTERWEIGHT WORLD TITLE CONTENDER:
"This is going to be an exciting fight, we're both Mexican fighters. You know, we have that Mexican blood inside of us, you know, and we're gonna come with that fire for sure."
"This isn't the first time that I go into enemy territory. You know, the last time I did that I fought this guy, Sammy, and I went all the way to Tampa Bay for that fight. As I'm walking into the ring, I hear all his fans cheering for him and talking a lot of trash about me. But afterwards, his fans became my fans, and I believe that I can do that for this fight. I think that I will gain the LA fan base after this fight."
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF GOLDEN BOY:
"As Golden Boy, we know our position, we know exactly what we have to do in order to position that fighter to get them to that world title. Alexis Rocha is knocking on the door. Giovani has an amazing opportunity. So this is what boxing is all about."
"My pro debut was at the Kia Forum. The Forum is a very special arena. It's built like a bowl, so every seat is a great seat. But most importantly, the fans appreciate a great fight. Obviously, this is no exception."
"I think that Alexis Rocha has proven that he belongs in this spot, that he has what it takes to become a world champion. Just to give you a little history about what's going on with Crawford and the WBO, there's a WBO convention coming up where Crawford will be making his decision whether he's going up to 154 or he's staying at 147. So, therefore, it will dictate what next move we will be making for Rocha. But first thing is first, he has a very difficult tough opponent in front of him. I strongly feel that Giovani with his undefeated record is coming with everything, guns blazing!"