Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe has made it official. Ellerbe called the union of rapper 50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather Jr. — who will form TMT Promotions — one that is “great for boxing,” and, “great for corporate America.”
The rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, has obtained a license in New York as well as an application for one in Nevada, and appears to have his sights on a partnership with friend Mayweather, a jailed eight-belt, five-division titlewinner who is due to be released from the Clark County Detention Center in Nevada on Aug. 3.
“All of this is great for the sport. The joint venture between 50 cent and Floyd is going to be great for boxing, because you have two, great innovators who are in touch and who are very much in tune to the younger generation,” said Ellerbe.
“They’re in tune as far as knowing how to market and to promote their innovative ideas. So you have two, very, very smart people coming together, which means that this is going to not only be great for boxing, but also, great for corporate America.”
Yahoo! Sports and Sports Illustrated first reported the developments with 50 Cent, whose new company would be called TMT Promotions — short for “The Money Team.”
According to the website, Thisis50.com, Jackson already has signed switch-hitting super middleweight contender Andre Dirrell (20-1, 14 knockouts) as well as former featherweight titleholder Yuriorkis Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs) to promotional contracts.
Dirrell, a former Olympic bronze medalist, and Gamboa are 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.
“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.”
Ellerbe declined comment on the future of the relationship with Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs) and Golden Boy Promotions, which has handled the promotion for the fighter’s past six bouts.
Nor Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya, who had engaged in a Twitter war with Jackson for a time, nor the company’s CEO Richard Schaefer were immediately available for comment.
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 beltholder, and a triumph over Miguel Cotto for the WBA’s junior middleweight belt in May.
It was during the post-fight press conference after Mayweather’s triumph over Cotto that Jackson stood behind a microphone on a podium and first shed light on the new venture, this, after being introduced by Mayweather.
“This is really exciting. Moving forward, you’re going to see some new and exciting things from Mayweather Promotions. But I would like to say in advance that this is Leonard’s thing,” said Jackson, speaking of Ellerbe, who was to his right.
“You saw his head go up when I said that, because he doesn’t want me announcing nothing that he didn’t say that I could announce. I’m not going to do that. You people are going to have to wait. But when the time is right, Leonard will let you know about this new venture that we actually have happening, but I’m excited.”
Later, Jackson spoke of programs designed to aid in relief for the hungry and disadvantaged, among other things, before ending his speech with, “just check us out, it’s The Money Team.”
Mayweather 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.
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org