50 Cent (real name: Curtis Jackson) will make his debut as a boxing promoter in the featured undercard fight on the Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez HBO pay-per-view. The top star in the 50 Cent/SMS stable, Yuriorkis Gamboa, will be returning from a more than year long layoff to face Michael Farenas.
We've already heard about the plans for there to be an elaborate "knock your socks off" ring walk for Gamboa, but is that all that 50 Cent brings to the table? Not if you believe what he says about his role as a promoter (via ESPN):
"I'm familiar with the cameras," he said. "The messaging points are a little different, but other than that, I'm at home with this. You think about it, with the other promoters, you couldn't pick them out of a lineup if you're not an extreme boxing fan. The hip-hop culture and pop culture makes me someone whom immediately makes who I'm standing to notable."
"I do the best thing possible for the talent I'm working with. The best possible position for Gamboa, coming back after being off 15 months, is to be on a Manny Pacquiao card. It's amazing."
Gamboa is a very talented fighter and someone 50 should be happy to have in his stable. But he's also a guy in his 30's who hasn't fought in a year. Bringing him back for what should be an easy win over Farenas is a fine move, but it's going to still leave Gamboa as anything but a major star in America.
The true test of what 50 Cent is able to do as a promoter will be how well he is able to establish Gamboa as a star on the level of the talent he possesses.
That test starts tonight.
You can follow all of our Pacquiao vs. Marquez 4 fight week coverage right here, or you can follow the tremendous SB Nation boxing blog Bad Left Hook for their in depth coverage.