A source familiar with the situation has confirmed that switch-hitting super middleweight contender Andre Dirrell is considering a promotional contract with rapper 50 Cent, who has obtained a license in New York, reportedly applied for one in Nevada and appears to have his sights on a partnership with his jailed friend, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Yahoo! Sports and Sports Illustrated first reported the developments with 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson. The rapper’s new company would be called TMT Promotions, with TMT being short for “The Money Team,” according to the reports.
“They’ve been spotted together, so that’s official,” said the source, regarding Dirrell (20-1, 14 knockouts) and Jackson. “There is nothing official. But he’s [Jackson] around, and there is business being discussed.”
Mayweather’s past six fights have been co-promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, whose CEO is Leonard Ellerbe.
According to Yahoo! Sports, Golden Boy never has signed Mayweather to a promotional contract. But since the fighter’s company does not have a promoter’s license, it paid Golden Boy a flat fee to promote Mayweather’s bouts.
Mayweather is due to be released on Aug. 3.
Last month, Mayweather topped Forbes’ list of its 100 highest paid athletes internationally for 2012, his $85 million for two fights trumping second-place boxing rival Manny Pacquiao with $62 million from earnings and endorsements.
This month, Mayweather was named the highest-paid American athlete for 2012 in Sports Illustrated‘s “Fortunate 50,” ahead of golfers Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods at Nos. 2 and 3.
“I’m very happy that one of the fighters we have a close relationship with has become the highest-paid athlete. That’s well-done and well-deserved,” Schaefer told RingTV.com at the time.
“This money has been generated by fans who like to watch his fights, and not like it is by a league which pays an athlete. This is about a guy who has the fans paying to see him fight. This just shows the tremendous popularity that Floyd Mayweather carries.”
During an interview with BoxingScene.com, Schaefer expressed optimism about doing future business with Mayweather.
“I have a great relationship and friendship with Floyd … The fact is, I think over the last couple of years or so, he’s made $200 million dollars,” said Schaefer.
“I am very confident in who we are, what we do and how we go about it. And so I’m not really [concerned] with all of these stories out there, all of these people who said all sorts of things. We’ll deal with it when we’ll deal with it.”
Schaefer also seemed positive concerning a working relationship with Jackson, who also reportedly has his eye on signing featherweight Yuriorkis Gamboa.
“There have been certain people that reached out to us about Gamboa and I said ‘no, I’m interested in signing the guy, he’s with my friend 50,'” said Schaefer to BoxingScene.com.
“We’re not going to go do that [to 50]. If this is a fight that 50, as Gamboa’s promoter, is interested in doing, then let’s talk about it.”
Jackson has become a mainstay, if not the leader, in the entourage of Mayweather.
Prior to Mayweather’s triumph over Miguel Cotto for the WBA’s junior middleweight belt in May, Jackson joined the fighter in the ring, along with Justin Bieber, professional wrestler Triple H, rapper Lil Wayne, and Gamboa.
In the aftermath of Mayweather’s victory over Cotto, which earned Mayweather a boxing record high guaranteed purse of $32 million, Jackson told RingTV.com that he would seriously consider making a professional debut on a future pay per view card were it headlined by Mayweather.
“That’s what I’m training for. But I don’t want to fight a cab driver. I love the sport. I fell in love with it when I was like 12 years old. So it’s interesting that I get to live vicariously through Floyd,” said Jackson.
“It’s something that he’s does well and it’s something that he’s passionate about. You saw Justin Beiber out there tonight, Triple H, Lil Wayne. He’s an entertainer.”
As for the millionaire artist himself, Jackson said that he would have to drop some poundage prior to making his own segue into boxing.
“I would have to lose weight. I would have to lose a lot of weight. I’m like 204,” said Jackson. “So I would have to go down to about 168. I would fight at 168. I’m walking around like a regular guy. It would take me about two months of training.”
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org