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Roc Nation Sports’ boxing debut

On Friday, January 9th, Roc Nation Sports’ will make its boxing debut from The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City in an event that will not only feature some incredible talent and captivating match-up’s, but will also include appearances and performances from some of today’s hottest entertainers and athletes. Special guests for the “Throne Boxing” event at the world’s most famous arena will include JAY Z, Carmelo Anthony, Victor Cruz, Rihanna, Santigold, CC Sabathia, Sam Dew, and Melanie Fiona. In addition, DJ Mustard and Fabolous will be entertaining the live crowd in between bouts, and will help to enhance the fans overall experience at the event, which will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1. And if that wasn’t enough, one dollar from each ticket sold to the event will be donated to the Muhammad Ali Center.

In the main event of the evening, Washington D.C ‘s Dusty Hernandez Harrison (24-0, 13 KO’S) will be taking on Tommy ”Razor” Rainone (22-5-1, 4 KO’s) for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Welterweight Championship. And in the co-feature evening, Tureano Johnson (17-1, 12 KO’s) will take on Alex Theron (17-1, 10 KO’s) for the WBC Silver Middleweight Championship and the vacant WBA International Middleweight Championship.

On Monday, January 5th, during the first ever conference call for a Roc Nation Sports event, all four fighters were interviewed and asked several questions related to their upcoming bouts. Below are some of the highlights of the conference call.

When asked what Alex Theron knew about his opponent, Tureano Johnson, Theron said ”we did have a match-up in 2008 in an elimination bout for Olympics, and I beat him. I don’t think he has a very strong defense. I have studied his fights and his movements, and I am prepared for him.” 

And when the subject of his only professional defeat came up, and how far he has moved away from that, Theron stated ”It was very hurtful, but I feel good, and I am mentally prepared for this fight, and I plan on having a much different approach going in to this fight.”

When Tureano Johnson was asked if he had done a scouting report on Theron, and how he expects to beat him, Johsnon stated “Yes we did a lot of research and we are doing more research on my opponent.  He is a boxer / puncher but doesn’t like to mix it up so much but can if he gets the opportunity.  My plan when I get into the ring is to pretty much out-box him.  He has more lateral movement and not one to get in there and mix it up, like Alex.” And as for his future plans, should he be victorious on January 9th, Johnson refused to lose focus of the task at hand.  “From what I am told, holding the WBC Silver title, which is one of the titles that we are fighting for – that is a prestigious title.  It is a title that will enable you to fight the number one contender or the world champion.  So yes indeed, this is the biggest step of my life.  This is the most important fight of my life and this I don’t take lightly.  In this fight the fans can expect to see the most explosive Tureano Johnson they have ever seen before.”

As for the main event, Dusty Harrison Hernandez was not at a loss for words regarding what it meant to him to be in the main event of Roc Nation Sports’ first ever boxing card. “ I am honored and it has been great for me.  My family is really enjoying it and my friends of course.  There are artists performing at the fight – it is more than just a boxing event.  I think if there are more events like this it will attract more crowds.  All of my friends that are my age are looking forward to this fight more than any other.  And I think that kind of says something.”

At twenty years old, one might think that the pressure on Harrison Hernandez might leave him somewhat fazed; however, the young pugilist had a different take on the situation. “The biggest thing, obviously, that I’ve got to do is win, and do what the people want to see.  They’d like to see a knockout, but I need to show all of the potential I have as a twenty-year-old.  I need to show something that people will want to watch again.” And while Hernandez acknowledged that this would be the toughest fight of his professional career thus far, the Washington D.C. native seemed eager and willing to continue to develop his skills against tougher opposition, stating “It is important for me to develop.  I can’t keep fighting the same types of fighters and the same skill level. It is important for me to take this fight to become the best boxer that I can be.   I am twenty so I really need to develop the right way.  He is probably the slickest and craftiest fighter I have fought other than Michael Clark but I think it will be a tougher fight than that.”

As for New York native and self-managed boxer Tommy Rainone, he seemed to have a very optimistic outlook on the fight, and scoffed at critics who believe his lack of punching power will impede his chances of obtaining a victory in his own backyard. “As I have discussed it before, the whole knockout thing…the black and white of it is I only have four knockouts, but the gray of it is that I have scored fifteen or sixteen knockdowns in my career.  My last fight I dropped the guy twice and it was a ten-round decision but all you see is that it was a ten-round decision.  You just see another decision victory and not that the guy was on the canvas twice.  After I drop them I keep them honest and I keep them gun-shy.  I know that I can punch and I know that I am not a finisher.  I admit that and it’s one part of my game that is missing.   But the element of surprise is when I hit these guys – they are not expecting a guy that can punch at all.  I know that I will get his respect with my power if he thinking that I can’t punch.  I know that his father, who is a very knowledgeable guy, I am sure that he has studied me plenty and I’m sure he gave the kid a little heads up that I can punch a little more than you think.  The element of surprise may not be there as much because this particular guy I am fighting right now – I think his father is a very good trainer even though he doesn’t make as much as most trainers make but with that being said I just have to go out there and be myself make adjustments and worry about firing on all cylinders and as long as I do that I think I have a very good chance to beat this kid.  I can’t worry too much about what he does.”

Roc Nation Sports’ first venture into professional boxing looks like an ambitious, and well promoted event that will attempt to fuse music and sports together into one fantastic show that fans both in-person and watching from home can appreciate. From the fights to the music to the special guest appearances, Jay Z looks like he has spared no expense to put on a world-class event at the world’s most famous arena. Hopefully, the actual experience on January 9th will be just as formidable as the hype that has surrounded it.

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