Music artist and mogul Jay Z’s 16-month old sports agency Roc Nation rocked the sports nation when it outbid Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank Promotions during the purse bid for the mandatory fight between WBO middleweight champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin and Matt Korobov. The bidding was held at the WBO headquarters in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Roc Nation’s $1,904,840.00 purse bid easily beat Golden Boy ($1.2M) and Top Rank ($0.515M) to secure the promotional rights to the WBO’s next middleweight title bout. The purse bid was ordered after the promoters of Quillin (Golden Boy) and Korobox (Top Rank) could not make a deal with each other.
David Iskowitch, Roc Nation’s Chief Operating Officer for its boxing division, told espn.com that their company wanted to make “an immediate and dramatic impact on the sport.” And by making a bid way bigger than boxing’s two Top promoters, it certainly did that and made a huge statement of its arrival in boxing.
Iskowitch was formerly Golden Boy’s COO for six years before resigning recently to take some time off. He then returned to join Jay Z’s new sports firm which also represents top athletes like the NBA’s Kevin Durant, Dominican baseball star Robinson Cano, Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia and NY Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.
Roc Nation’s victory earned positive reactions all over the boxing industry.
The WBO, through its president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel, said that they “wish Roc Nation nothing but success in their endeavors” and that they “look forward to working with them again in the future.” However, Valcarcel said on a personal note that he was initially surprised that Roc Nation made a huge bid in a fight which it didn’t have a direct interest in.
Although Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar de La Hoya said he was also “surprised” with Jay Z’s bid, he was glad that “someone like Jay Z and his team realize the values and opportunities in the sport of boxing.”
Top Rank’s Carl Moretti also “welcomed Jay Z and his group to the sport of boxing” and congratulated them on their winning bid. Moretti promised that Korobov and his team will fully cooperate with the terms and requirements that Roc Nation may impose on the fight.
Starting From Scratch
Roc Nation doesn’t have any fighters yet signed under its name nor does it have a boxing stable. It has yet to negotiate a television deal and has only a promotional license in two places. As a result, Roc Nation has initially planned to stage the Quillin-Korobov fight on November 8th in either New York or Washingon, the only places where they currently have a boxing license to promote fights.
The undefeated Quillin (31-0 with 22 knockouts) has already made three successful title defenses of the WBO title while Korobov (24-0 with 14 knockouts) will fight for a world title for the first time in his pro career. Both men will be getting their biggest payday ever as a result of Roc Nation’s huge bid. The New York native Quillin is slated to take the mandatory 75% of the purse ($1,428,630.00) while Korobov, the 31 year old former Olympian from Russia, will receive the remaining 25% ($476,210.00)