Jay Z Throws His Hat into the World of Boxing, Hires Former Golden Boy Executive David Itskowitch

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    jay-z002758-300x300Jay Z founder and owner of Roc Nation Sports has decided to throw his hat into the world of of boxing.

    “There’s no question the sport of boxing needs a new player, someone who can do something different,” Michael Yormark, the president and chief of branding and strategy for parent company Roc Nation, told ESPN.com yesterday. “We’re energized and we’re going to make a difference. This is a huge priority to us. This is a highly serious business to us.”

    Roc Nation Sports currently represents sports stars: Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz and Indianapolis Colts receiver Hakeem Nicks. They have negotiated contracts worth millions of dollars for the athletes  they represent.

    Roc Nation Sports currently does not have any boxers under contract but they shook things up recently when they brought aboard David Itskowitch to act as the chief operating officer of their boxing division.

    Itskowitch has eighteen years of experience in the boxing business and has worked for promotional companies such as: Golden Boy Promotions and Dibella Entertainment.

    According to Itskowitch, Roc Nation Sports has a promoters license in New York as well as Washington, D.C.

    Roc Nation Sports expressed their future plans and talked about the impact they feel they will have on the sport of boxing. “This is a serious business for us moving forward and Dave has one of the great reputations in the boxing industry,” Yormark said, adding that Jay Z and Roc Nation Sports president Juan Perez are big boxing fans. “Hiring him should be a loud and clear statement this is serious for us and that we will do this the right way. We have one of the most respected individuals in the sport leading the charge for us.”

    “We didn’t wake up yesterday and decide we wanted to get into the boxing business, but our first significant move was to bring Dave into the organization. This is an opportunity for us to change the game. It’s been in the works for the last six or eight months and now we are making our move. Jay Z has an incredible passion for boxing. We want to take the platform we’ve created and bring that to the boxing industry. We want to bring more money and visibility to the sport and give the boxers opportunities outside the ring.”

    “We’re going to promote our first event by the end of the year and we’re currently strategizing on which fighters we will seek to sign,” Itskowitch told ESPN.com.