According to the website, Thisis50.com, the rapper, 50 Cent, has signed switch-hitting super middleweight contender Andre Dirrell as well as former featherweight titleholder Yuriorkis Gamboa to promotional contracts.
The rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, has obtained a license in New York, reportedly applied for one in Nevada, and appears to have his sights on a partnership with friend and jailed eight-belt, five-division titlewinner Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“They’ve been spotted together, so that’s official,” said a source familiar with discussions between Dirrell and Jackson. “There is nothing official. But he’s [Jackson] around, and there is business being discussed.”
Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, acknowledged having been contacted by Jackson.
“I met with 50, and gave him a promoter’s application,” wrote Kizer, in an e-mail to RingTV.com on Thursday. “He is in the process of completing it. It has yet to be returned.”
Yahoo! Sports and Sports Illustrated first reported the developments with 50 Cent, whose new company would be called TMT Promotions, with TMT being short for “The Money Team,” according to the reports.
Dirrell (20-1, 14 knockouts), a former Olympic bronze medalist, and Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs) would be Jackson’s first recruits. Gamboa recently became a promotional free agent, this, after an out-of-court settlement that was reached with his former promoter, Top Rank.
Mayweather, who is due to be released on Aug. 3, had his past six fights promoted by Golden Boy Promotions.
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.
Nicknamed “Money,” Mayweather earned $85 million last year over two fights — a fourth-round knockout victory in September that dethroned Victor Ortiz as WBC welterweight belholder, and a triumph over Miguel Cotto for the WBA’s junior middleweight belt in May.
Mayweather (43-0, 26 knockouts) was named “The Best Fighter,” or, what is essentially Fighter of The Year at the ESPYs on July 11, taking honors over other nominees such as RING super middleweight champion Andre Ward and mixed martial arts stars Jon Jones and Anderson Silva.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com