Sunday, September 24, 2023  |



50 Cent gets Nevada license; Pacquiao-Marquez IV officials picked

Fighters Network

Rapper 50 Cent (aka, Curtis Jackson) was approved for a promoter’s license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Thursday by a 5-0 vote, according to NSAC executive director Keith Kizer.

Jackson’s promotional application was originally submitted with the intentions of launching TMT (“The Money Team”) Promotions with Floyd Mayweather Jr., but 50 Cent said Mayweather “decided to do things differently” upon being released from the Clark County Detention Center on Aug. 3 from a stay that began on June 1.

“I had already invested $1.5 million in acquiring fighters,” Jackson told the commission, “and I would like to move forward.”

Kizer said that Mayweather is not listed on the application for Jackson’s company, SMS Promotions (the letters represent Jackson’s audio head phones line). Jackson already has obtained a license in New York, according to New York State Athletic Commission director Melvina Lathan.

Although Jackson and Mayweather had been involved in an ongoing Twitter war, Kizer said he detected no animosity in the promoter’s tone during the meeting.

“[Jackson] said that Floyd got out of his incarceration, that he decided to go forward on his own after having already invested almost $2 million on SMS Promotions, and that he’s planning on investing another $2 million, but there was nothing negative,” said Kizer.

“The commission still needs a couple of years of tax returns, along with a list of the fighters he has under contract, and then a letter confirming that all of his assets [that were under TMT] have now been transferred to SMS.”

Jackson is now represented by attorney Leon Margules, who said that SMS already has signed super middleweight contender Andre Dirrell, former featherweight titleholder Yuriorkis Gamboa, Australian IBF featherweight beltholder Billy Dib and featherweight contender Celestino Caballero.

“They want a few more things, but it’s no problem,” said Margules, who was with Jackson at Thursday’s meeting. “Just routine stuff that I was told that he really didn’t need, but that they kind of want to look at.”

The NSAC also chose the officials for the fourth bout between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez that is scheduled for Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, according to Kizer.

Referee Kenny Bayless was chosen to work the ring, while the judges for Pacquiao-Marquez IV will be Adelaide Byrd of Las Vegas, Steve Weisfeld of New Jersey and John Keane of England.

On the undercard of Pacquiao-Marquez IV, southpaw featherweight Javier Fortuna (20-0, 15 KOs) meets Patrick Hyland (27-0, 12 KOs), and IBF lightweight titleholder Miguel Vazquez (32-3, 13 KOs) makes a defense against Mercito Gesta (26-0, 14 KOs).

Russell Mora will work Fortuna-Hyland, with the judges being Duane Ford of Nevada, Dave Moretti of Nevada, and Gary Merritt of Indiana. Robert Byrd will officiate Vazquez-Gesta, with the judges being Patricia Morse Jarman of Nevada, John McKaie of New York and C.J. Ross of Nevada.

Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs) still is slated to be on the Pacquiao-Marquez card against an opponent to be determined after Mexican junior lightweight Miguel Beltran Jr. (27-2, 17 KOs) pulled out with what Top Rank CEO Bob Arum called “a bad hand.”

Margules said Edner Cherry (30-6-2, 16 KOs), a winner of six straight, including four by knockout, “was and still is a possibility” to replace Beltran.

Click here for promoter licensing information in Nevada.

Click here for a copy of the licensing application

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]