"Don't let me get in my zone..." Well Roc Nation is certainly hoping to get in their zone, with a little bit of a cross marketing strategy instituted by music mogul Jay Z himself. "Throne Boxing" as it has been dubbed by Jay, is obviously a reference to his 2011 album with Kanye West "Watch The Throne." Now if only we could have some fights that would be worthy of such a title...but first things first. The first fight card for the new promotional company will take place on January 9th at Madison Square Garden, televised by Fox Sports 1.
"All of us at Roc Nation Sports are thrilled to announce our first boxing event along with our first series and television deal," said David Itskowitch, the chief operating officer of Roc Nation Sports' boxing division. "An evening of exciting fights, great music and fantastic entertainment will be a fitting way to kick off 'throne boxing,' a series that will stand alone on the boxing landscape."
Stand alone, you say? Fights, music, and entertainment aren't exactly new concepts for the boxing world. I seem to remember Prince Naseem Hamed, a new inductee into the HOF, doing a rendition of Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' during a ring entrance. If this could be anywhere as close to entertaining as he was, then maybe they're on to something. Roc Nation nation said there will be live performances from some of Roc Nation's artists. Perhaps they can't, or wouldn't, budget someone like Rihanna for this kind of card, but I guess we can hope for someone like Rita Ora?! Or Willow Smith?! I'd personally take Jay Electronica myself, but that's a whole other ball of wax...
Anyways, the headline of the card will be welterweight prospect Dusty Hernandez-Harrison (24-0, 13 KOs) and Tommy Rainone (22-5-1, 4 KOs) in a 10 rounder. The rest of the card hasn't been announced just yet.
David Itskowitch, who is running the boxing division at Roc Nation has this to say about the upcoming event:
"I'm very excited about this deal because I do events. Until I'm doing events, I'm not really satisfied," he said. "I now have a date, a network, a venue and a main event and we're ready to go. I'm tired of being asked what we're working on. Now we have something with these shows and to have our first one at Madison Square Garden is special. We want to do things big. It's a basic cable television show but we will amp this up. It's at the Garden, it's in New York and we will have Michael Buffer as the ring announcer. To have our first show in New York is a great thing."
This represents the first of a three-fight deal with Fox Sports 1, but there are also rumblings that Roc Nation is on the verge of buying Gary Shaw Productions, which would include his signed fighters. Gary Shaw currently has the likes of Bryant Jennings, Thomas Dulorme, and Darleys Perez amongst some others. Not exactly a group of stars but I suppose it could be worse; they could have basically no fighters, like they currently have.