Boxing promoter Lou DiBella and music and entertainment mogul Damon Dash, who co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records along with Hip-Hop giant Jay-Z, are teaming up to form Dash/DiBella Promotions. Dash/DiBella Promotions will promote three young boxers, Andre Berto, Jaidon Codrington and Curtis Stevens. The partnership is a coming together of two savvy businessmen to create a company that can be twice as powerful than if Dash had started his own promotional company and DiBella remained solo. DiBella brings all of his experience as a former HBO executive, a lawyer and a promoter to the table, while Dash is proven as an all-around mogul. He has been involved not only in the music industry, but also the highly successful Roc-A-Wear clothing line, a film company, a sports management company and a non-profit community outreach program called Team Roc. In addition, Dash and Jay-Z purchased the imported Scottish liquor brand, Armadale Vodka.
Dash can often be seen partying it up in Hip-Hop videos, with a drink in hand or a scantily clad female, but when it comes to making money, Dash doesn't play around. The Roc-A-Fella empire has grown as big as it has largely because of Dash's round-the clock worth ethic. To most, Dash may be a new face on the boxing scene, but this reporter first remembers seeing Dash at a boxing match when Brooklynite Zab Judah knocked out Jan Bergman for the vacant IBF junior welterweight title at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT in February 2000. Judah has advertised the Roc-A-Fella logo on his boxing trunks during fights and has also appeared several Jay-Z music videos.
Dash once said in a Hip-Hop magazine that one of his prized possessions is a pair of personalized autographed boxing gloves that Muhammad Ali gave to him. DiBella's credentials in boxing are well-known. At HBO, he was behind the creation of the successful "Boxing After Dark" series and years later, made a gutsy move when he left HBO, and his safe executive position, to enter the risky world of boxing promotion. He signed numerous fighters out of the 2000 Olympics and has led Jermain Taylor to the top of the middleweight division.
A bout between Taylor and 160-pound king Bernard Hopkins is very close to becoming reality. DiBella also negotiated for Hopkins prior to Hopkins entering Don King's middleweight tournament, which led to Hopkins getting a then-career high purse against Felix Trinidad, and stopping "Tito" to becoming the undisputed middleweight champion.
Unfortunately for DiBella, Hopkins severed his relationship with DiBella, and also his longtime trainer, shortly after the Trinidad fight. DiBella, however, is not crying over losing Hopkins. With Taylor set to take over the middleweight division, either by beating Hopkins or Hopkins retiring before turning 41, as he has promised to loved ones, a stable of talented boxers, and Dash by his side, DiBella is poised to make as big a mark in boxing promotion as he did as an executive for HBO. For a number of years, DiBella, while a vice-president of programming for HBO Sports, headed boxing magazines' lists of the sports Most Powerful People.
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