50 Cent to Take Boxing By Storm, Bridge Age GapWritten by Lee Cleveland
Fiddy, head of the newly-formed SMS Promotions, will make his promotional debut Saturday when Gamboa faces Michael Farenas (34-3-4, 26 KO) on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez, one of boxing's biggest fights of the year.
Ranked as one of the top 10 fighters in the world by some boxing media outlets, the supremely-skilled Yuriorkis Gamboa told FightNews.com last week, "I look forward to fighting under his banner for the first time next Saturday. He is a great artist as well as businessman. He will do good for himself and I have to do my job come fight night."
50 Cent's entry into the world of fight promotion is not a gimmick nor a publicity stunt as some believed last summer. Boxing is a longtime, very passionate interest of his and he's hellbent on making waves in the sport.
Rapper, entrepreneur, record producer, actor and boxing promoter 50 Cent
"I'm passionate about (boxing)," he told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday. "I want to make exciting fights. I want to be part of the history of boxing, not just play around a little bit, and then jump out."
Insisting the sport's demographic is too old and losing youths to other sports and UFC, 50 Cent is targeting the 15-34 year olds and believes he can help bring back some of boxing's lost luster of year's past.
During an interview in July, he stated, "We're going to change the demographic also, appeal to the younger demographic."
Last week, parlaying off previous statements he made during the summer, Fiddy stated 56% of UFC's demographic is 15-34 and told USA Today,"What's really cool though, is hip hop culture is a youthful-driven art form, and the connection with youth is a demographic that needs to be brought into boxing."
"Boxing's demo is 30 and up. At a boxing match you look in those first rows and all you see are suits and really nice dresses. Boxing is more traditional, but they need to bring youth into it, and get them involved. And they will be when they see people in it with connections to other platforms."
50 Cent shares his ideas with the press on Yuriorkis Gamboa Media Day
Courtesy of Chris Farina, Top Rank
"I think I can completely bring youthfulness into it."
The 37 year old 50 Cent once trained as an amateur boxer and recently considered fighting on a Floyd Mayweather undercard. But that idea, unlike his new promotional gig, never took off and probably never will.
Despite 50 Cent's credentials as music star and entrepreneur, boxing promotion is very difficult and setbacks usually far exceed accomplishments early on. However, a look back into 50 Cent's troubled past reveals the rap star is no quitter. In the spring of 2000, he was shot in the face, hand and legs by a man with a nine millimeter at close range. In sum, he survived a total of nine bullets and went on to become a top rapper as well as an entrepreneur, record producer and actor.
If he's savvy, innovative and exercises patience, the legendary rap mogul might have a tremendous positive impact on the sport and become immensely successful.
Will 50 Cent's foray into boxing initiate a paradigm shift from the traditional and perhaps antiquated concepts of marketing and promotion the sport employs today?
Sit tight. One way or another, things are about to get really interesting in the colorful world of professional boxing.
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.