50 Cent Talks Boxing and Music

Fif drops jewels on how African-American fighters rely on hip hop to enhance their careers as he and his SMS Promotions prep for the Crawford vs. Gamboa fight.

50 Cent is a man of many hats. He stepped on the scene in the '90s as a gangsta rapper from Queens, formed one of the top-sellng rap crews, Guerilla Unit, and has since expanded his brand to include acting, producing, and now, boxing. 

As his SMS Promotions prepares for the upcoming Terrence Crawford vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa HBO Boxing After Dark fight on June 28, Fif can't help but apply his music industry experience to the sport. 

"The difference between the sport of boxing and music culture is how much you can actually charge for the ticket," Fif told, "Because the sporting event is a one-off event. We sing the same music over and over and the ticket price value can't be the same as a one-time, one-off event."

But it's deeper than just ticket prices. For 50, hip hop plays a dominant role in the boxing industry. "What's playing in the actual gym when they're actually training, it's what's in the headset when they are out running ... so the professional athlete, generally they have passion for music in different ways."

Having conquered the music industry (and being a former amateur boxer himself), Fif knows how imperative it is for African-American boxers to incorporate aspects of the music industry into the ring in order to remain relevant.

"Like Floyd [Mayweather], his association –– to go to the obvious –– [including] my relationship with him to him trying to be cool with Lil Wayne," Fif explained. He and the champ started SMS Promotions together as The Money Team Promotions in 2012 before parting ways later that year.

However, the hip hop element is not mandatory for all boxers, 50 shared. "You can have fighters that are Mexican with fans who have such strong passion for boxing that they will come based on boxing alone," he said. "You don't need to have connections to music."

Fif plans to bring the same tenacity he brings to hip hop to the sport of boxing, reviving the Mike Tyson era when boxers put on a show and fought for their lives.

"Fighters don't have the same energy as they had in the past," Fif said. "[Back then] they created the intensity that made you not want to miss the show no matter what. It wasn't as transparent. The sport wasn't as visible to the public, where they'd see the actual fighter choose the opponent versus them fighting whoever wanted it."

When it comes to bringing energy, Fif knows best. He and G-Unit reunited earlier this month (June 1) and he plans to keep the flame going with the release of the camp's first album since 2008 this November, in addition to releasing a second album of his own for the year and flexing his production chops with his new series, Power, and the forthcoming BMF biopic.  

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(Photo: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Nordstrom)

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