Golden Boy Promotions and Facebook on Monday announced a deal under which the social media platform will stream a series of fights and other original boxing programming.
The deal calls for a minimum of five fight cards, which will stream for free in the United States on the Facebook Watch page, the social media giant's video-on-demand service, as well as globally on the Golden Boy Promotions' Facebook Watch page.
Golden Boy will also team with promoter Main Events, which will promote events on the series.
"This game-changing deal for the sport of boxing places Golden Boy Promotions and its stable of fighters at the intersection of live sports mega-casting and ultimate fan engagement," Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya said.
"Our team is now positioned to present world-class boxing from Silicon Valley, to Madison Avenue, to Hollywood and to the rest of the world. The reach of Facebook is just incredible, and our sponsorship conversations will truly resonate with brands across all categories."
The first card will take place Aug. 11 at the Avalon Theater in Hollywood, California, and feature featherweight world titlist Jesus Rojas (26-1-2, 19 KOs), 31, of Puerto Rico, defending against contender Joseph "JoJo" Diaz Jr. (26-1, 14 KOs), 25, of South El Monte, California, in the main event.
The fight will be Rojas' first since he knocked out Claudio Marrero in the seventh round in September to claim the interim 126-pound belt but he has since been elevated to a "regular" titleholder. It will be Diaz's first action since he lost a unanimous decision while challenging Gary Russell Jr. for his world title on May 19.
The second card will be put on by Main Events on Aug. 18 at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera (21-2, 14 KOs), 36, a Miami-based Cuba native, will take on an opponent to be determined. Barrera will seek to rebound from a 12th-round knockout loss while challenging world titlist Dmitry Bivol on March 3.
"Main Events has a rich history in this sport; boxing is in our DNA. For too long, promotional companies have been at odds over a limited number of television dates," said Main Events CEO Kathy Duva, who has long had a good relationship with Golden Boy. "We look now to a future with Facebook with unlimited opportunity, where promoters can work together to best serve the interests of the fighters and fans all over the world."
Golden Boy Media and Entertainment division will produce the live events and original programming, which will include rebroadcasts of past fights featuring commentary from the boxers involved.
"We're thrilled to team with Golden Boy Promotions to make Facebook a home for championship-caliber boxing this year," said Devi Mahadevia of Facebook's North America live sports programming division. "Through this unique partnership, a global community of sports fans will have free access to some of boxing's most exciting live bouts and be able to interact with the action like never before."