The noted DJ, songwriter and record producer is targeted to lace up the gloves for a Triller Fight Club boxing match on June 5th in Miami, Florida. Diplo — a.k.a. Thomas Wesley Pentz — is accustomed to performing under bright lights. This time it’ll be very different, though, as after putting in hours of training behind the scenes, he’ll step inside the ring against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.
The news is expected to become official during Saturday’s Triller Fight Club event in Atlanta, where Diplo will perform a set on the pay-per-view card headlined by YouTuber Jake Paul vs. former MMA champion Ben Askren.
“He came to us and said he really wants to fight,” Triller majority owner Ryan Kavanaugh tells Rolling Stone. “We have a good relationship with him and we said, ‘Why don’t you come to this event and play a little and then call out an opponent for the next event?’ Hopefully that opponent answers back. It was pretty much that simple.”
The 42-year-old is on tap to compete in a four-round professional bout for the video-making and social-networking service. Over the past year, it’s expanded its reach into the boxing world, including a fight card last November featuring Mike Tyson’s return to the boxing ring and this weekend’s showcase blending fighting and musical acts.
The venture for the multi-time Grammy Award-winner comes as a major surprise, and is apparently borne out of passion. He’s built up a degree of skill and confidence in the training room, and with Triller Fight Club willing to provide a platform, is keen to test his hands in a real-life competitive setting.
“Diplo has been training in boxing,” says Triller’s Chief Boxing Officer Peter Kahn. “He wants to fight. He has a worldwide fan base. It’s massive. It spans 100-plus countries, at least. And he wants to fight. I won’t do anything that’s not competitive, but competitive is a relative term. I’m not looking for someone that’s going to come in and overpower him, but I’m also not looking for someone that’s going to come in and underwhelm. I have to assess his skillset.”
Diplo’s performance at Triller Fight Club on Saturday will be part of a star-studded lineup, which also includes Justin Bieber, the Black Keys, Doja Cat, Saweetie, Major Lazer, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Too $hort, and E-40.
From Rolling Stone US