Rapper turned boxing promoter, Curtis Jackson, better known in the music industry as "50 Cent," says the sport of boxing can take a cue from the mixed martial arts (MMA) world which is currently dominated by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Jackson, who represents undefeated (22-0) boxing sensation Yuriorkis Gamboa, among others, says the major difference between the two is that UFC is in tune with its young fans and allows them to get invested in the lives of fighters with their programming which includes The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), "UFC Countdown," "UFC Ultimate Insider" and the ever-popular "UFC Primetime" specials.
Though boxing does have the "24/7" show in its programming arsenal -- which has featured in-depth looks at the lives and training camps of stars such as Oscar De La Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Sergio Martinez, Juan Manuel Marquez and the aforementioned Mayweather vs. Pacquiao -- the UFC promotion has taken it to another level, focusing on the younger demographic which has proven successful for the promotion.
His words on ESPN's First Take:
"The UFC and MMA, what they've done is developed programming that allows you to go on a journey with the actual fighters so you are more invested. You feel like you know that actual fighter versus what boxing has done. Boxing has developed their following fight by fight. You know, there's nothing about the actual, there is only two, there is only two fighters that I feel create this thing; the show away from the show, and that's Floyd and Adrien Broner. This is why he is on the come up, his notoriety is coming up so fast, as far as Broner is concerned, because he is actually in tune with hip-hop culture. And following his actual fights on every blog that covers hip-hop music with music under the actual bed in it, he's actually coming out rapping himself. It just keeps a more youthful audience in tune with it. When the UFC's demographic is from 16-34 and boxing is 30 and up, it's like, half of their demo is someone who is not even watching boxing right now."
Longtime friend of boxing sensation Floyd Mayweather, Jackson -- who admits his friendship with the prize fighter isn't what it used to be -- also talked about the much-anticipated "super fight" that never came to be between Mayweather and Pacquiao because according to Jackson, he feels the pound-for-pound best boxer in the world was indeed ducking the Filipino pugilist because as he puts it, "that's $100 million dollars and you just left it."
According to "50 Cent," the two main reasons "Money" shot down a fight against "Pacman" was because "he concentrates too much on what someone else is getting paid opposed to how much he's actually getting paid" and the other being that Floyd was very careful about selecting opponents, saying he liked to pick "the perfect opponent" as opposed to "the toughest fighter to fight."
With "Pacman" now suffering two straight defeats including a vicious knockout (KO) loss to longtime rival Juan Manuel Marquez last year, and Floyd lined up to take on 31-1-1 Robert Guerrero later this year, it seems the much-desired fight between arguably two of the best boxers to ever step into the ring will forever remain a fantasy.
Though Jackson shot down any theories that Floyd was actually "afraid" of Pacquiao -- saying his money would have been on Floyd to best Manny -- it seems the thought of actually having a defeat on his mint record that has 43 consecutive victories with no losses was a risk Floyd just wasn't willing to take ... regardless if there was a $100 million dollar jackpot at the end of the rainbow.
But, then again, it's not like "Money" is hurting for cash, either.