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Jay Z’s Roc Nation Gears up for Boxing Premiere

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Jay-Z
(Jay-Z attends the "Magna Carta Holy Grail" album release party )

Rap legend Jay Z and his new sports company, Roc Nation Sports, will hold its first boxing card on Friday, January 9th at the Theater at Madison Square Garden airing on Fox Sports 1. Jay Z has delved into sports in a big way over the past couple years and seemingly acquires new athletes to follow him as often as he releases hit records. Victor Cruz (NY Giants), Ndamukong Suh (Detroit Lions), Kevin Durant (OKC Thunder), CC Sabathia (NY Yankees), and Skylar Diggins (Tulsa Shock) are just a few of the marque names that Mr. Carter is representing.

Jay-Z
(Jay Z, Rapper and founder of Roc Nation)

Jay-Z and company seem to have smelled the boxing money that keeps being raked in and has guys like Floyd Mayweather joining him on the Forbes’ “Highest Paid” lists every year.

“All of us at Roc Nation Sports are thrilled to announce our first boxing event along with our first series and television deal…An evening of exciting fights, great music and fantastic entertainment will be a fitting way to kick off ‘throne boxing,’ a series that will stand alone on the boxing landscape.” David Itskowitch, the chief operating officer of Roc Nation Sports’ boxing division, said.

The main event for Roc Nation’s first boxing card will feature the undefeated rising welterweight and WBC Youth 147-pound champion, Dusty Hernandez-Harrison in a scheduled 10-round bout against Long Island native Tommy Rainone.

Dusty-Hernandez-Harrison
(Dusty Hernandez-Harrison)

Hernandez-Harrison (23-0, 12 KO’s), 20, is a tall, lengthy fighter with a solid jab that’s given him the confidence to go at it with any fighter. He stands 6 feet tall and operates a 74 inch reach. The Puerto Rican has been fighting since the age of 16, fighting in over 200 amateur bouts. His promoters billed him as the youngest professional fighter in America at that time.

Brad-Jackson-vs.-Tommy-Rainone
(Brad Jackson fights Tommy Rainone (right) during a welterweight bout at Madison Square Garden on October 22, 2011 in New York City.

Rainone (22-5-1, 4 KO’s), 34, isn’t very well-known outside of New York boxing circles, but he has always come to fight, hence, never being knocked down or out. He got his last win in November 2014 against Carl McNickles and hasn’t lost since June 2012 when he lost a unanimous decision to Fitzgerald Johnson. His unanimous decision victory over McNickles earned him the vacant USBO Welterweight Title.

At this time, Hernandez-Harrison appears to be the favorite in the fight but Rainone has a 14-year age advantage (or disadvantage, depending on how you look at it). It will be interesting to see if the old-wise-man can hand Harrison his first professional loss. Other draws on the card will be middleweight Tureano Johnson, and undefeated super middleweight prospect Jerry Odom, in separate bouts.

Also performing live throughout the event will be; DJ Mustard, Radio/TV emcee Angie Martinez with performances by rapper Fabolous between each fight. Well-known boxing announcer Michael Buffer will also make vocal contributions.