By Steve Kim Updated on March 18, 2022

Fight On at USC

Picture for Fight On at USC

The show will go on at the Galen Center on the campus of USC this Saturday night. Only it wont feature Vergil Ortiz, who was pulled from his bout versus Michael McKinson. It was announced on Tuesday afternoon that Ortiz was suffering from rhabdomyolysis, and was admitted to the hospital.

With that, the welterweight tussle between Blair 'the Flair' Cobbs and Alexis Rocha was bumped up to the main event, while McKinson will now face Jesus Antonio Perez in a ten round affair.

Yeah, it's a buzzkill.

Picture for Fight On at USC

This is like going to see the USC basketball team in the early 90's and having Harold Miner sidelined. (No disrespect to Robert Pack or Duane Cooper.)

But I am relieved for the other fighters who will still be able to box this weekend after months of training. You ask any boxer, having their bouts canceled is worse than losing -- because at least you still earn a few bucks for your efforts. Boxers get paid to fight, they train because they have to.

As for Ortiz, a highly regarded young welterweight contender, this is a disappointing beginning to his 2022 campaign. Coming into this month he was rated number one by both the WBC and WBO. Ring Magazine had him at number five in their 147 pound rankings. He is considered one of the cornerstones of Golden Boy's stable.

Generally he is a low-maintenance individual. But there are rumblings that in this camp he was high-weight. That's neither here nor there, but you wonder if any of this happens if instead of being scheduled for mid-March after fighting last August, was given a December assignment by Golden Boy to finish out his 2021. 

Picture for Fight On at USCGolden Boy Promotions

Regardless, does anyone think it's a good idea for a 23 year old fighter, with less than 20 fights, to be relegated to performing twice a year? I'll say it again, this is a generation of dulled blades. It will be interesting to see which weight class Ortiz competes at in his next outing (whenever that is).

Cobbs-Rocha is actually an interesting battle, the winner moves up the welterweight ladder. While 'Bek the Bully' Melikuziev is a  good watch

But the young man we really wanted to see, well... he wont be there. 



Meanwhile on ESPN, Top Rank puts on a card from the Hulu Theater at MSG, that features some of their younger boxers from their stable.

The headliner is super middleweight, Edgar Berlanga, who is matched with Steve Rolls. After beginning his career with 16 first round KO's, he's struggled a bit in his last two bouts. He got some much-needed rounds versus Demond Nicholson last April as he went the eight round distance. But what was really alarming was his last bout against Marcelo Esteban Coceres, who floored him in the ninth, as he faded late in that contest.

Picture for Fight On at USCTop Rank/Mikey Williams

Highly regarded welterweight Xander Zayas get some ESPN exposure as he faces Quincy LaVaillas. One buzzkill is that blue-chip prospect, Keyshawn Davis, was pulled from this card with an illness(he has since been rescheduled for the Oscar Valdez-Shakur Stevenson undercard on April 30). 

Hopefully this main event will take place before two in the morning. 



On Tuesday morning Showtime Sports announced their upcoming lineup...

Picture for Fight On at USCShowtime

Two of their cards are of the pay-per-view variety (Errol Spence-Yordenis Ugas on April 16 and Gervonta Davis-Rollie Romero on May 29). Overall, it's a pretty solid slate of fights that has nine separate fight cards featuring 21 undefeated fighters.

My two personal favorites of this schedule is the rematch for all the belts at 154 between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano, who battled to a disputed draw last summer in San Antonio. This time around on May 14 they will be at the 'War Grounds' in Carson, California. Also on this telecast is another highly regarded young welterweight in Jaron 'Boots' Ennis, who is paired with Custio Clayton.

Then on June 4th, unified 122-pound champion, Stephen Fulton (holder of the WBC and WBO straps) faces former unified champion, Danny Roman at the Armory in Minnesota. This is match-up of two highly skilled boxers, who are no stranger to being in good fights. Fulton is the top rated fighter in the division, while Roman is three.

More undercard bouts will be added to this schedule in the upcoming weeks.



This week on 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' on Triller, Mario Lopez and I look back at the incredible battle waged by Leigh Wood and Michael Conlan, we preview this weekends upcoming fight cards, and pay tribute to Marvelous Marvin Hagler, on the one-year anniversary of his passing...

Mario & Steve talk Conlan vs Wood Fight of the Year | The 3 Knockdown Rule Ep. 23 | TrillerTV




By the way, when is Fox announcing their upcoming boxing schedule?....Brandun Lee is facing Zachary Ochoa on the Spence-Ugas card on April 16....In terms of the pay-per-view portion of that card at AT@T Stadium that night, that line-up will consist of:  Isaac Cruz-Yuriorkis Gambo, Jose Valenzuela-Francisco Vargas, and Cody Crowley-Josesito Lopez....This weekend in Dubai, Sunny Edwards defends his IBF flyweight title against Muhammad Waseem, and junior welterweight contender Regis Prograis takes on Tyrone McKenna....It's almost becoming shorts-and-sandals weather out here in Los Angeles/Montebello... So what does everyone think of 'Winning Time' on HBO?....I can be reached at



About Author
Fight On at USC
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for
  • Was a boxing reporter for from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.