Jay Z: Will Cotto vs Canelo make music mogul the next Don King?Written by Leroy Cleveland
Miguel Cotto vs Canelo Alvarez, presumably slated to take place in October or November, is arguably the biggest fight in boxing.
“We’re finalizing minor details,” De La Hoya told USA TODAY this week. “We have Las Vegas, which is very interested. We’re talking to Texas and New York, also, so it’s a matter of time.
( Coffee, weight loss and the metabolism )
“We’re just finalizing small details with Roc Nation and we hope we can have something signed, sealed and delivered in the next couple of weeks.”
Looking to become a major player quickly in the rough and peculiar world of fight promotion, Jay Z's Roc Nation signed Andre Ward in January and Miguel Cotto in March hoping the high-profile acquisitions would give the agency instant credibility in the fight game.
Of particular interest is Roc Nation's purported 3-fight/$50 Million deal with Cotto. Some scoffed at the ungodly sum, insisting Roc Nation was being 'taken for a ride.'
But perhaps Jay Z & Company have made a wise investment?
Earlier this month, Cotto blasted Daniel Gale in four rounds on HBO in a bout that generated stellar ratings for the network. And now, fewer than seven months since its foray into boxing, Roc Nation is in negotiations with Golden Boy Promotions to deliver the sport's biggest fight, Cotto vs Canelo.
Perhaps Jay Z invested a weight sum in Cotto because they realized early on his long-standing reputation would enable the promotions group to cultivate relationships with major networks and other promoters and ultimately improve its chances of recruiting new talent and getting precious air time for its fight cards?
Hence, they want a 'foot in the door.'
Will their pay-to-play concept work?
Keep in mind, a promotions entity doesn't need many successful, high-profile events to soldify itself as a major player.
In 1974, a liitle-known fight promoter named Don King immediately vaulted into prominence after negotiating the heavyweight championship fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire, popularly known as "The Rumble in the Jungle".
The fight between Ali and Foreman was a much-anticipated event. King's rivals all sought to promote the bout, but King was able to secure the then-record $10 million purse through an arrangement with the government of Zaire.
The rest is history. Don King would become the most popular, most successful promoter the world of sports had ever seen.
One day, will Jay Z wield as much power in boxing as Don King did in the 1970s, 80s and 90s?
Cotto vs Canelo won't be as big as Ali vs Foreman but it will likely give the boxing newbies of Roc Nation a level of credibility that takes most promotional entities years to attain.
Even for someone with his credentials in the entertainment industry and Jay Z's estimated net worth of $560 Million, fight promotion can be very difficult for a newbie and setbacks will almost always far exceed accomplishments early on.
So far, Jay Z & Company appear to be making the right moves.