VERGIL ORTIZ was meant to be fighting England’s Michael McKinson this weekend. But the American was hospitalised with rhabdomyolysis on the week of the fight. It means Blair Cobbs’ bout moves up from the undercard into the main event at the Galen Center in Los Angeles on Saturday (March 19). He is matched with the 18-1 Alexis Rocha.

Cobbs, an extroverted character, appears wild in his approach, but has power and fast hands too. However, at 32 years old a defeat would be a significant setback for the southpaw based in Las Vegas. It is however a real possibility for him against Alexis Rocha. Rocha has lost once, to Rashidi Ellis in 2020. A southpaw too, he is a stubborn combination puncher and works well on the inside. The two should make for an exciting combination.

“I can’t wait for this fight. I love every single opportunity to get out there and show the world what Blair ‘The Flair’ is all about. Each moment, each day, I am getting better and better. Every day I am refining my craft, inside and outside of the ring,” Cobbs insisted. “Once again, I have to fight against the odds.

“It doesn’t matter what he does. In that ring he is going to try everything and he is not going to be able to get anything done because I am much, much better.”

Rocha said, “I am not intimated by undefeated record. I put no pressure on myself about that, because last time I put pressure on myself I lost. Since that loss, that 0 went away, and I feel like the pressure got off of me. You put so much pressure on yourself to stay undefeated and really all that pressure can be defeating, mentally.

“He has a unique style; he likes to mix it up. But I feel like I know his weaknesses and his strengths and come fight night, I am ready for whatever.”

Ramla Ali, the London-based Somali, has put a disappointing experience at the Olympic Games behind her to resume her professional career. She goes into a scheduled eight-twos on this card. Ali is an unbeaten 4-0 and will surely beat the 5-6-2 Shelly Barnett. Ramla is a skilled technical boxer and will continue to pick up the experience she needs.

Michael McKinson will still fight on the bill. Alex Martin comes in at short notice to give him a fight