Roc Nation Sports and rapper tuned sports agent “Jay Z” has recently launched a “Pro Boxing Division” of his agency. Already representing mega sports stars such as Kevin Durant, CC Sabathia and Victor Cruz, the agency has not signed any fighters but has obtained licenses to promote fights in New York & Washington.
To make sure he enters this new venture swinging (no pun intended) it looks as if he has tapped longtime fight executive “Dave Itskowitch” to run the show. Not the first entertainer or music mogul to enter the boxing promotion business (50 Cent, James Prince, Dame Dash…) it seems to be an interesting time to join the sport. Boxing has been on a steady decline for awhile now. It’s not just the rumors of corruption and fight fixing, but its more to due with the rapid rise in popularity of MMA/UFC, no current American Heavyweight Champions and that most fighters not named Floyd Mayweather are even recognizable to even the average sports fan.
But it sounds like Jay Z and Itskowitch are ready to change all of that.
“We’re looking to make an immediate and dramatic impact on the sport,” said Itskowitch, who intends to promote a card before the end of the year, according to the ESPN.com story. “We feel we can do that, and we plan to build Roc Nation Sports into a boxing brand by leveraging Roc Nation’s current marketing, public relations and branding infrastructure. We’re going to brand Roc Nation Sports fighters, and we’re confident that branding will lead to financial opportunities both in and out of the ring that will be available nowhere else.”
With an industry veteran like Itskowitch matched with the power and influence of Jay Z and Roc Nation, I surely wouldn’t bet against them.