Calling it "the smartest decision I've made in my career," super middleweight contender Andre Dirrell officially declared himself signed with TMT Promotions, the promotional firm to be run by millionaire recording artist 50 Cent and millionaire fighter Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Although the website, Thisis50.com, already had announced the recruitment of Dirrell and former featherweight titleholder Yuriorkis Gamboa to promotional contracts, Dirrell spoke publicly about the situation for first time during an interview with RingTV.com.
The rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, has obtained a license in New York, has has received an application for one in Nevada, according to Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer,
A former Olympic bronze medalist, Dirrell (20-1, 14 knockouts) said that Jackson assumed control of his career "about a month ago" along with Mayweather, a jailed eight-belt, five-division titlewinner who is expected to be released from the Clark County Detention Center on Aug. 3.
Dirrell, who turns 29 in September, said he expects to compete in his first bout in mid-November under TMT Promotions -- which stands for "The Money Team -- and that he plans to end his career fighting under its promotional banner.
DirrelI was unsure when things would go into motion for Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs), who recently became a promotional free agent following an out-of-court settlement that was reached with his former promoter, Top Rank.
Dirrell said that he initially met with Mayweather and Jackson in early May, the weekend that Mayweather unanimously decisioned Miguel Cotto for the WBC's junior middleweight belt at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Dirrell has been trained by his uncle and grandfather, Leon Lawson Jr. and Leon Lawson Sr., respectively.
RingTV.com: You have signed with Floyd Mayweather, 50 Cent and The Money Team Promtions, correct?
Andre Dirrell: That's correct
RingTV.com: When did you do it?
AD: It was sometime last month. Like the end of last month, so it's been about a month now.
RingTV.com: How did this come about?
AD: We just had a sit-down out in Las Vegas. The called me out to Las Vegas, and I flew out to Las Vegas and we had a sit-down. Everything went pretty good.
Then I followed up with another visit. And after I sent the contracts to my lawyers, I came back and I told them, "I want to be on The Money Team."
RingTV.com: What did you like about what you were told?
AD: Honestly, it's just the leadership. It's the leadership of 50 Cent. But when you sit down with 50 Cent, man, people can say, "well, he's just a rapper."
They may say, "he deals with music, he deals with endorsments, he ain't got no time for boxing." But I looked at like this: He's a total businessman, and a 100-percent wraparound. He's always talking business.
Anytime that I need advice, he's willing to give it to me, man. He's just always on his game. So he's been around Floyd for years, and they've been talking to me. He knows the game, man. When I got to see that side of him, I knew I was in good hands.
RingTV.com: What was Mayweather's influence?
Now you've throw in "The Money Man," Floyd Mayweather, now he's a whole different ballgame. He's been in my shoes and he is in my shoes. We were with him during the week of the Cotto fight.
We were in training camp with him. We saw him work hard. He works so hard, that it really gave me motivation to want to get in there and do my thing.
But he had the meeting with me during camp. That surprised me, because I didn't want to do anything to alter his training. But me being there, it was motivation for me.
It showed me what I had to do to get there. So we met and talked during his camp leading up to the fight, and then, a little bit after that, that's when I signed.
RingTV.com: What else impresed you?
AD: Well, we were able to sit down with HBO, you know? And that's another thing. Until now, I have never had a chance to ever sit down with a television executive, whether it was ESPN or Showtime.
I never had that experience for any of my fights. But that's the first.
To read the rest of the interview head over to www.ringtv.com