About a month ago I posted a story about Roc Nation putting together its first boxing card, mentioning rumors that the company was looking to acquire Gary Shaw Productions. Well it appears those rumors have been substantiated, with the deal now having been finalized. Gary Shaw Productions has been purchased by Roc Nation Sports and they'll be bringing Gary on board to run things along with Dave Itskowitch.
"I have officially joined Roc Nation. I'll be running their boxing division and working closely with Dave Itskowitch," said Shaw of the former Golden Boy Promotions COO, who now holds a similar position for Roc Nation. "The rest of the staff that's there and all of the people who have been with GSP are still going to be with us. There will be no more GSP."
Of course this means that Shaw's stable of fighters have now been assimilated into Roc Nation, with Bryant Jennings being the most notable name, particularly because it looks like he'll be getting the next shot at Wladimir Klitschko on April 25th at the Barclay's Center.
"[Klitschko-Jennings] is scheduled to be there but we're still negotiating the deal," said Shaw. "All of my fighters are Roc Nation fighters now. Roc Nation is the promoter. I'm just running its boxing division and working closely alongside Dave Itskowitch."
"All this does is elevate every fighter that I have into a whole different status because of Roc Nation. All of the fighters are in the great company of guys like Kevin Durant and Dez Bryant, Roc Nation athletes and entertainers like Shakira and Rihanna," said Shaw.
"These boxers will have the opportunity to be surrounded with this type of talent, not to mention the rest of Roc Nation's talent pool, which is huge. I'm looking to help to build Roc Nation into boxing powerhouse, which I know that we can with Jay Z involved."
I'm not sure how much being tangentially affiliated with Shakira and Rihanna will help this stable of fighters, but I suppose standing next to any kind of star power can't be bad from a marketing perspective. Roc Nation's current roster still appears to be pretty thin so they'll have to keep plugging away to find and/or develop new talent. But the company has already demonstrated that they are serious about trying to make a splash in the sport, and as Jay would say, I can't knock their hustle...