Lightweight prospect Karlos Balderas, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, is headed for prime time.
On Thursday, Balderas’ next fight was added to the televised portion of the Premier Boxing Champions card on Feb. 17 (8 p.m. ET, Fox) at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas.
Balderas (3-0, 3 KOs), 21, of Santa Maria, California, will face Jorge Rojas in a scheduled-six-round bout.
“It means more people can see that I’m here and I’m ready and I’m in great shape,” Balderas said of fighting on network television in prime time. “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.”
All three of Balderas’ bouts have ended in first-round knockouts.
The fight will open a tripleheader headlined by the 12-round bout between former welterweight world titleholders Devon Alexander (27-4, 14 KOs) and Victor Ortiz (32-6-2, 25 KOs). Caleb Plant (16-0, 10 KOs) and Rogelio “Porky”‘ Medina (38-8, 32 KOs) square off in a super middleweight world title elimination match in the co-feature.
Ringstar Sports promoter Richard Schaefer, who promotes Balderas, is bullish on Balderas’ talent and pleased that he will appear on the televised portion of the card.
“It just speaks to who Karlos is that he has a televised spot on national TV,” Schaefer said. “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.”
Rojas (4-2-1, 2 KOs), 27, of Mexico, is coming off a loss in October, but went the six-round distance. He will be fighting in the United States for the first time.
“I’ve been given a great opportunity,” Rojas said. “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.”