Dan Rafael: Elio Rojas

A former world titleholder and a 2012 Olympian preparing for his professional debut are the latest fighters to sign with promoter Lou DiBella.

DiBella announced Tuesday that he has signed former featherweight titlist Elio Rojas and Olympian Jonathan Alonso of Spain.

Now fighting at junior lightweight, Rojas (23-2, 14 KOs) will face Robert Osiobe (14-9-4, 6 KOs) in the scheduled eight-round main event on an Aug. 13 “Broadway Boxing” card at B.B. King Blues Club and Grill in midtown Manhattan while Alonso’s pro debut will come against an opponent to be named in a four-round junior welterweight bout on the undercard.

"I couldn't be more excited and grateful to have signed with DiBella Entertainment and my manager Joe Duva and to finally get my career back underway," Rojas said. "Now living in New York, it has always been a dream of mine to fight here, in front of my fans, and now I will have the opportunity on Aug. 13. I want to fight the best that my division has to offer, and I feel that I will be ready to take on any of the top fighters that are willing to accept the challenge and ultimately win back a world championship."

Rojas, 31, a native of the Dominican Republic, is ending a 2-year layoff. He has not fought since losing a decision while challenging Jhonny Gonzalez for a featherweight world title in April 2012. Rojas held a version of the 126-pound title from 2009 to 2010, making one successful defense.

"Elio Rojas is not only a former world champion but a tremendous offensive fighter, who will immediately be a player in the 130-pound division,” DiBella said. “After just a few fights, Elio would love a showdown with a 130-pound champion or his dream bout against Yuriorkis Gamboa.”

As for Alonso, 23, who was 98-12 as an amateur, DiBella said, “We are pleased to have inked a deal with Jonathan Alonso, an Olympian and one of the best amateur fighters to come out of Spain in recent decades."

New TV deal a boon for boxing fans

April, 24, 2012
For the past month or so, Golden Boy has been providing live boxing events to Fox Deportes.

Among those fights was Sergio Thompson's upset of Jorge Linares on a card Golden Boy promoted in Mexico as part of its deal for a monthly card on Mexican network Televisa. There was also the Edgar Sosa-Wilbert Uicab card, which Golden Boy didn't promote but secured U.S. television rights to and placed on Fox Deportes.

Those cards occured while Golden Boy and Fox Sports Media Group were in the process of finalizing a longer-term deal. That deal came to fruition Monday, and it should be a bonanza for boxing fans.

Fox Sports Media Group announced what it called "a multi-year, multimedia agreement with Golden Boy Promotions to provide live boxing content in the United States and internationally."

What it means is that Golden Boy will put on one event per month at a venue in the United States to be simulcast on Fox Deportes (in Spanish), Fox Sports' regional networks and Fuel TV. Additionally, other events taking place in cities throughout Mexico will air only on Fox Deportes.

In all, Fox Deportes is scheduled to air 44 live events in the first year of the deal and 36 live cards for each year thereafter. The Fox platforms will also have access to Golden Boy's extensive library to show classic fights.

Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com that the deal is for a minimum of 15 months but could extend to 5½ years based on the various contractual options.

"I am very excited to have been able to come to terms and sign another outlet where we can build up our young fighters," Schaefer said. "We have had talks with Fox for quite awhile, but it started to really come together in December. So we are going to stay very busy. This is great for the sport. This deal is an endorsement of the sport. We are getting paid money. This is no time buy."

As part of the deal, Fox Deportes will carry live coverage of a card from Cancun, Mexico on Saturday night that will feature a pair of world title bouts: featherweight titlist Jhonny Gonzalez (51-7, 45 KOs) against former titlist Elio Rojas (23-1, 14 KOs), and junior lightweight titlist Juan Carlos Salgado (24-1-1, 16 KOs) in a mandatory defense against Martin Honorio (32-6-1, 16 KOs).

The first U.S.-based event will take place May 4 in Las Vegas, featuring former junior featherweight titlist Daniel Ponce De Leon (42-4, 35 KOs) against Eduardo Lazcano (24-2, 11 KOs) in a junior lightweight bout and junior middleweight Ishe Smith (22-5, 10 KOs) facing Derrick Ennis (23-3-1, 13 KOs).

"Golden Boy Promotions has developed a great reputation over the last few years for putting together very exciting cards," said Bill Wanger, a Fox Sports Media Group executive vice president. "It's great that we've been able to establish what we hope will be a fruitful relationship that benefits multiple networks within the Fox Sports Media Group for years to come."