Friday, February 03, 2023  |


Roc Nation Sports to return on April 17




I often tweet out this bit of advice: Just because you don’t know about it, doesn’t mean things aren’t being worked on. In this information age, we tend to become more easily frustrated if we are not in the loop. But many folks still operate on a “need to know basis” i.e. they will let you know what they are up to when they feel the need and feel the time is appropriate. I try to counsel people and often myself to be patient, as when I am pondering the next moves for the new behemoth in boxing, Roc Nation Sports, the foray into the pugilistic promotion business by mega-mogul Jay Z.

That preamble aside, word is out that Roc has put together its second show. It will run April 17 at the Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. and will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m PT.

On paper, the feature looks to be intriguing at least; Russian cruiserweight Murat “Iron” Gassiev, trained in the trademark catch ‘n’ kill manner by Abel Sanchez, will defend a regional title against Felix “Bad News” Cora Jr. of Galveston, Texas in a 12-round main event.

Tickets are now on sale, fight fans. One dollar from each ticket sold will be donated to the Muhammad Ali Center (and may I say I love that philanthropic touch and am eager to see, as we get closer to #MayweatherPacquiao, if the powers that be putting that promotion together will engage in a similar strategy. I hope so, as accumulating masses of money without a nod to the bigger picture of altruism is not something I’d see, for example, Manny Pacquiao being OK with).

Others doing their thing on the throne boxing undercard include DC-er Dusty Hernandez-Harrison, Brooklyn’s Junior Younan, a search-and-destroy-type prospect, and Wellington Romero.

We are told there will be a live musical performance and a name DJ to pump up the vibe, as well.

“All of us at Roc Nation Sports are extremely excited to continue our throne boxing series on FOX Sports 1 on April 17 at Foxwoods,” said Roc Nation Sports’ COO of Boxing David Itskowitch. “We plan to continue where we left off with our premiere throne boxing event in January by bringing great fights, a unique musical performance and an unparalleled fan experience, which we know will capture the attention of both avid boxing fans and a new fans alike.”

Gassiev (20-0, 13 knockouts), from Vladikavkaz, Russia, has the boxing world buzzing. The 21-year-old has been called “the second coming of Gennady Golovkin” by his trainer, Abel Sanchez, who also trains the WBA middleweight titlist.

On Oct. 31, 2014, Gassiev stopped Engin Karakaplan via first-round technical knockout. Cora Jr. (25-6-2, 14 KOs), of Galveston, Texas, has put together a three-fight winning streak, including an 11th round knockout win over Laudelino Jose Barros in Barros’ hometown of Sao Paulo, Brazil in Oct. of 2013. Cora’s most recent fight, in March of 2014, was a second round knockout of Andrae Cathron before hometown rooters in Galveston.

Hernandez-Harrison (25-0, 13 KOs) headlined Roc Nation Sports’ inaugural throne boxing event at the Theater at Madison Square in a fight televised by FOX Sports 1 last January. The 20-year-old scored a 10-round unanimous decision victory over Tommy “The Razor” Rainone.

Younan (6-0, 5 KOs) started boxing competitively at age eight and, only two years later, was called a “boxing prodigy” by the New York Times. Fighting out of Newburgh, New York, by way of the Dominican Republic, Romero (5-0-1, 3 KOs) was a member of the 2012 Dominican Olympic Boxing team at the 2012 Games in London.

On fight night, doors open at 6:30 p.m with the first bout to take place at 7:00 p.m.

Fight fans are curious as to what’s next for Roc building blocks RING middleweight champion Miguel Cotto and former RING super middleweight champion Andre Ward. Stay tuned to this space for more info on those hitters when it becomes available.


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