The sports agency co-founded by Jay Z has hired David Itskowitch, a respected boxing executive and promoter with nearly two decades of experience, to be the chief operating officer of its boxing division, according to ESPN.
The move signals Roc Nation Sports' intentions to promote boxers and fights.
"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 on Sunday night. "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."
Itskowitch, 39, was the COO of Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions for more than five years. He also worked under HBO Sports senior vice president Lou DiBella.
"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.
"We're looking to make an immediate and dramatic impact on the sport. We feel we can do that, and we plan to build Roc Nation Sports into a boxing brand by leveraging Roc Nation's current marketing, public relations and branding infrastructure. We're going to brand Roc Nation Sports fighters, and we're confident that branding will lead to financial opportunities both in and out of the ring that will be available nowhere else."
Roc Nation Sports' list of clients includes Victor Cruz of the New York Giants, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, C.C. Sabathia of the New York Yankees and Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners.
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- Chris Johnson