Highly touted 2016 U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas will battle Jorge Rojas in a six-round matchup live in primetime on Saturday, February 17 in Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes action from Don Haskins Center on the UTEP campus in El Paso, Texas with television covered starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Balderas vs. Rojas will be featured on fight night coverage, which is headlined by a 12-round duel between former welterweight world champions Victor Ortiz (32-6-2, 25 KOs) and Devon Alexander (27-4, 14 KOs) in the main event and an a 12-round IBF super middleweight title elimination bout between undefeated contender Caleb “Sweethands” Plant (16-0, 10 KOs) and Rogelio “Porky” Medina (38-8, 32 KOs) in the co-feature.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.
“It’s just speaks to who Karlos is that he has a televised spot on national TV,” said Richard Schaefer, Chairman and CEO of Ringstar Sports, Balderas’ promoter. “He’s one of those once in a generation talents that combines power, style and grace. From his ring walk and how easily he dispatches opponents you can see this young man has star written all over him. He has that “it” factor. He engages people and gets them all fired up. He has an amazing aura. He’s fun to watch and engaging. I’m expecting a great performance from him.”
The 21-year-old Balderas (3-0, 3 KOs), a first-generation Mexican-American, competed on the U.S. Olympic boxing team in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Balderas of Santa Maria, California turned pro last year and fought three times in 2017. He scored a knockout victory over Carlos Flores in his last fight on Dec. 15.
“I’m very happy to be fighting on this card on FOX and FOX Deportes in primetime,” said Balderas. “It means more people can see that I’m here and I’m ready and I’m in great shape. We’ve been doing a bunch of different things in my training camp, like biking and swimming that I know will help me. My first three fights have finished very fast, so people haven’t seen my true speed and power.
I have an explosiveness that I’d like to showcase more. I’ll look to show more of my speed and my boxing skill in this fight. I need more rounds and experience to progress. I want to box and move more, use my feet more in this fight. I’d like to do that, but we’ll see what happens.”
Rojas (4-2-1, 2 KOs) fought four times last year and is coming off a loss to Cesar Soriano in his last fight on Oct. 17. The 27-year-old Rojas of Puebla, Mexico will be fighting in the U.S. for the first time in his career.
“I’ve been given a great opportunity,” said Rojas. I’m going to go out there, fight my heart out and try to do my best. Let the best man win. I’m going to do everything I can to represent my team and my city of Cholula. I’ve been training really hard to make the most of this chance. This is really big for me and I want to leave a good impression on the fans, no matter the result.”
Also featured on this exciting night of fights is former 154-pound champion Austin Trout (30-4, 17 KOs), who takes on Juan De Angel (20-7-1, 18 KOs) in a junior middleweight affair, former title challenger Thomas Williams Jr. (20-3, 14 KOs), who battles Humberto Velazco Torres (18-1-1, 12 KOs) in a 10-round super middleweight bout, Mark Anthony Hernandez (11-1, 3 KOs), who takes on Jeison Rosario (14-1, 11 KOs) in an eight-round middleweight fight and 154-pound contender Tony Harrison (25-2, 20 KOs), who enters the ring looking to pick up a victory on his way to a second world title shot.
Rounding out the action is IBF Female Featherweight World Champion Jennifer Han (16-3-1, 1 KO), who fights out of El Paso and will defend her title against Bolivia’s Lizbeth Crespo (11-3, 3 KOs), plus Argentina’s Jonathan Pachado (1-0, 1 KO) against Josh Ross (3-6-4) in a four-round lightweight fight, unbeaten Wesley Diana (1-0, 1 KO) in four rounds of lightweight action and Karlos’ brother Jose Balderas (2-0) in a four round bantamweight affair.