After some hard knocks trying to get boxing promotion gigs underway, Jay Z finally found some fighters and a supporting cast to complete in his boxing wishes for Roc Nation Sports.
Roc Nation Sports officially launched in August of 2014. Despite signing athletes from professional baseball, basketball, and football, Jay Z couldn’t get a boxer to trust the young company, despite offers of big money.
But something of a complete turnaround has occurred. Things are looking brighter for Jay Z. Roc Nation Sports just merged with Gary Shaw Productions, meaning, Jay Z will have immediate access to top boxing talent. He also gets Gary Shaw. Shaw brings years of experience as a boxing promoter.
In Roc Nation’s first fight, unbeaten welterweight Dusty Hernandez-Harrison will battle Tommy Rainone. Not long before the match got underway, super middleweight champ Andre Ward broke from his previous outfit to sign with Roc Nation Sports. And there we have it. After an extremely rough start, Jay Z’s career as a boxing promoter has hit momentum.
Jay Z is out to make this an entertaining ride–more than just a boxing event. He’s filling Madison Square Garden with top celebrities. He’s brought Fabolous and DJ Mustard into the ring to perform. Angie Martinez plays host, and Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony is ringside along with Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia and Giants receiver Victor Cruz. Sabathia and Cruz are both signed to Roc Nation Sports.
I like where this is going. Jay Z is looking to turn boxing matches into full entertainment showcases. He’s sprinkling the crowd with glamour and superstars. It’s his own brand of sports revival. And it’s something new for the current generation of boxing.
Will the Jay Z brand of sports entertainment benefit boxing?