Alexis Rocha got a wide decision win tonight over Brad Solomon, but he, his team, and those watching all felt it was far more competitive than the official judges did, as Rocha survived over 10 rounds in a legitimate step up to take home a win and stay unbeaten.
The 22-year-old Rocha (16-0, 10 KO), the younger brother of Ronny Rios, is a good welterweight prospect, and Solomon (28-3, 9 KO) showed that there’s still a little something left in his 36-year-old tank as far as having the ability to test young guys on their way up.
Solomon was outlanded by Rocha pretty significantly, according to CompuBox, but fights aren’t scored by number of punches counted, and scoring this fight round-by-round, there was an argument for either man.
Judges had it 97-92, 99-90, and 100-89 for Rocha. Bad Left Hook cards were split, one going to Rocha, 96-93, the other 95-94 to Solomon, who was dropped hard and survived in the 10th and final round.
Rocha, who got an earful from trainer Hector Lopez going into that 10th frame, came out aggressive as if he needed the round to win the fight. It turns out he didn’t, but you do like to see a young fighter listen to his corner in that manner, and none of the criticism of the scoring here is criticism of Rocha. The young fighter has work to do, but he admitted as much afterward, and also remarked that he felt the fight was closer than the scores.
“I knew coming in it was going to be hard,” he said. “I knew he was going to come in very prepared. He’s a tough guy. I knew I had to give it everything I’ve got. I mixed it up with a good combination and knocked him down. I need to put more pressure, be more relaxed in there. I was trying to head hunt too much.”
It’ll be interesting to see Rocha’s next step, as again, there’s definitely work to be done, but he is a good, talented prospect. Keeping him right around this level for another fight or two would probably be the prudent move, and there are plenty of welterweights around this level, many of whom won’t have the craftiness of a Solomon.