50 Cent | Boxing's Newest Big-Time Promoter?Written by Lee Cleveland
Curtis James Jackson III, better known by his stage name 50 Cent, is an American rapper, entrepreneur, investor, record producer and actor whose best friend is boxing's pound-for-pound king and sport's premiere revenue generator, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
And now, it appears 50 Cent has apparently 'thrown his hat' into boxing promotion.
According to Sports Illustrated, Fiddy's TMT (The Money Team) Promotions has officially launched and is fully licensed in New York. Moreover, Nevada State Athletic Commissioner Keith Kizer has confirmed TMT Promotions' application for a license in that state is in the review process.
Only time will tell if 50 Cent becomes a threat to elite boxing promoters such as Bob Arum, Oscar De La Hoya and Frankie Warren but the legendary rap mogul will be off to a fabulous start if he signs boxing phenom and two division world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (21-0, 16 KO) and former super middleweight titleholder Andre Dirrell (20-1, 14 KO) straight away, as expected.
Is "Money May," himself, next to be signed?
Last April, 50 Cent's close friend, Floyd Mayweather Jr, stated Fiddy's involvement in boxing, whether on the business level, in the ring, or both was imminent.
"I think he's going to be involved on the promotion side," Mayweather said. "We may even put him out there, let him fight on pay-per-view one time. So we don't really know what the future holds, but he is getting involved with boxing."
Boxing promotion is not 50 Cent's first foray into the sports industry. Last September, the iconic rapper launched his new energy drink company "Street King," and collaborated with boxing legends Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather to shoot a commercial for the drink that, ironically, parodies the popular movie The Hangover.
Is 50 Cent Good for Boxing?
If nothing else, 50 Cent possess the popularity, allure and deep pockets to generate added interest in the Sweet Science and help the sport become mainstream among young Americans again. Although he hasn't produced any Platinum records lately, Fiddy is immensely popular in the 18 to 35 year old demographic and is a hip-hop and cultural phenomenon.
But despite 50 Cent's credentials as music star, boxing promotion is anything but easy and setbacks usually far exceed accomplishments early on. And although Al Haymon, a music promoter, quickly became a major force in boxing, he had a wealth of relevant education and experience behind him. But in contrast, he didn't have 50 Cent's name.
Bob Arum, Don King, Frankie Warren, Lou DiBella, Oscar De La Hoya and.... 50 Cent?
Successful or not, the hip-hop icon's venture into boxing promotion promises to be very interesting.
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.