Could the charismatic Dana White lead the UFC into the boxing realm? Top Rank founder Bob Arum doesn’t think so — and says like Donald Trump, White’s charisma is a con.
Given that once upon a time, Dana White was in the boxing business, it’s no surprise he has a soft spot for the sport. Especially given the oodles of cash Mayweather-McGregor made all involved in August. So it’s not entirely shocking to hear UFC President White talk about bringing in boxing under the UFC banner. After all, cash is king.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal’s The Unnamed Podvideocast this week, White said that “I could see bringing boxing under our umbrella and trying to see what we could do with that. I could see doing that.”
It’s not hard to see why. Speaking of the showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, White confirmed it had set the record, globally, for the biggest PPV event in history. “The thing wound up doing 6.7 million buys globally” he told the show.
White was also critical of the boxing industry as a whole. “One of the things that boxing did and continues to do to kill itself, is never care about the future” he explained. “Every boxing event is like a going out of business sale.”
Over the years, one of White’s biggest critics (and someone with whom he has feuded frequently) has been Top Rank boxing founder and CEO Bob Arum. Arum, who White once called “the biggest dirtbag in all of sports,” had some choice words for the suggestion that Zuffa Boxing might actually become a thing.
Speaking to NY Fights, Arum said that the UFC was a monopoly, and desperate. “In boxing, there are a large number of promoters, and when a promoter has a successful event and there’s a profit he earns, he puts it back in the company” Arum claimed. “What the f*** is White talking about? White is speaking from desperation now, he’s the spokesperson for what could be a failing business!”
He went on to compare White to U.S. President Donald Trump, when White’s charisma was brought up. “He’s not charismatic, the guy has charisma like Trump does, it’s the same kind of con!”
Then one more shocker:
My thoughts are that UFC is desperate, their numbers are way off, they have no marquee star. Look at their PPV numbers, they barely break 100,000 homes on their shows, they’re having trouble getting renewal on their contract with Fox. They have to do something. One of things they may try and fall back on and try and acquire a boxing presence. About a year ago I was approached by someone repping UFC, they wanted to buy Top Rank.
Could there actually be something to all this? Time will tell. For now, the UFC has not commented on any immediate plans to host further boxing matches beyond MacMac.