By James Slater: Rap megastar 50 Cent, real name Curtis Jackson, could be the hottest new promoter in boxing. Fans have surely read all about 50’s new promotional company, TMT. Along with boxing superstar and good friend Floyd Mayweather Junior, 50 Cent has big plans for the future.
Already, TMT Promotions has three big names on its books (four if you count “Money” himself), in Yuriorkis Gamboa, Andre Dirrell and, the latest signing, IBF featherweight champ Billy Dib. And, in an interview with News Limited Newspapers, 50 Cent spoke about his lofty plans for the future:
“We want to change boxing,” he stated. “The goal initially is to create a company by fighters, for the fighters, which breaks the traditional vibe of promoters taking advantage of fighters. We’re going to change the demographic also, appeal to the younger demographic.
“You look at UFC and MMA, when their festivities start the place is full, whereas the tradition in boxing is you wait until the main event starts. We want to put on cards where there are five main event fights, where there is entertainment from start to finish, cards that command attention all over the world.”
Sounds great, doesn’t it? 50 Cent has already attracted his share of critics, who seem to just want him to fail in his new venture, but if the rap star’s plans are to benefit the fans and, more importantly, the fighters, then what’s the problem? Already, 50 Cent claims, a number of top name fighters have approached him and told them they’d love to join TMT but cannot because of previous contract commitments.
Mayweather himself, due out of prison on Friday, will surely have some big ideas of his own to go along with 50’s. In the past, speaking of how to make boxing appeal to the younger fans, Mayweather spoke of the possibility of advertising upcoming boxing cards on MTV. Together, Mayweather and 50 Cent have enough cash to be able to take boxing in a different direction (50’s rap fortune is listed at $110 million, and we all know how loaded “Money” Mayweather is).
Imagine a five title fight card the likes of which 50 speaks of. That would take us back to those great days in the 1990s, when Don King was putting on shows that featured the likes of Julio Cesar Chavez, Azumah Nelson, Terry Norris and Felix Trinidad in action on the same show. For too long now, we’ve had to put up with poor under-cards (look at any recent Klitschko-headlined card for example), and if 50 Cent/Mayweather and TMT can give fans the value for money they deserve then more power to them.
Golden Boy, Top Rank and all the other top outfits have some serious competition and that can only be a good thing for the sport we all love.