Dana White has plans for boxing event, will make announcement in a couple of weeks
By Kenneth Friedman: UFC president Dana White hasn’t had much good to say about the sport of boxing recently, but he says he plans on making an announcement in the next couple of weeks for an event.
He isn’t saying what fighters that he plans on using for the event or if it’s going to a hybrid mix of his UFC guys facing a boxer.
With all the famous UFC fighters at his command, White can put on some great fights in boxing by matching some of his guys against boxers. What White doesn’t have are any of the popular fighters in boxing signed with him.
Unfortunately for White, he doesn’t have any of the stars from boxing signed to him. Any events that he puts on for the sport will likely be with less popular fighters, in matches that will fly under the radar o the average hardcore fan.
White can put on colossal boxing events
For Dana to put on a great boxer vs. an MMA guy, he would need to work with promotional companies like Top Rank, Golden Boy Promotions, or Matchroom. There’s a lot of money to be made by White and his UFC fighters in those events, but there’s a downside.
If the UFC guys get blown out the way Conor McGregor did by Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2017, it’ll hurt their popularity. Moreover, the big money that they taste might break their ambition and their desire to return to the hard work of fighting in the octagon in matches that are often grueling, bloody, and painful.
Dana says boxing isn’t “fixable”
White says he’s been looking at the sport of boxing for the past year, and he doesn’t see it as “fixable.” The governing bodies and the protective way that promoters go about matching their fighters carefully have harmed boxing.
The toxic way that the sanctioning bodies rank fighters along with the overly cautious match-making from many of the promoters, it’s a witches brew, and it’s poisoning the sport.
“The world of boxing hasn’t been able to do what I’ve been able to do over the last 20 years,” said UFC president Dana White to BT Sport Boxing. “So if they can’t do things when the world is normal, you can’t expect them to do things when the world is crazy.
“Yep, I’ve peaked under the hood [of boxing] for the last year, ran different things, looked at different things, and I said, ‘I don’t know if this is fixable.
“So funny enough, since the pandemic, I’ve been looking at other options too, and I’ll probably have something to announce here soon. In the time, I’ll let you know. In the next couple of weeks,” said White.
The sport can be fixed, but it would require that the promoters start working with each other. Additionally, the promoters would need to stop being protective of the way they matched their fighters.
The problems hurting boxing:
- Governing bodies
- Risk-averse fighters
You can argue that the networks are also part of the problem that is hurting boxing. To put a fight together between boxers that are tied to different networks, it isn’t easy. If one network only wants a battle to be shown with them, then it prevents a match from happening.
The only way it can work is if the networks are open to the idea of sharing for a fight of that nature involving fighters that compete on different networks.
Of course, there will be many fewer viewers for a network platform when a fight is shown on two networks, but it’s ultimately helping the sport. It’s also supporting the networks because the fighters will end up more popular in the long run.
Initially, it might be a negative for a network to share a fight with another network. The upside is enormous when their guy becomes more popular from having fought another top fighter and being seen on two networks.
Warren says Dana White is lucky
“We’re running shows under tough conditions, but we’re running shows,” said promoter Frank Warren. “We’re doing no different than he’s doing, both me and other promoters.
“I don’t know what’s going on in the States, but I think the shows that we’ve delivered and even our opposition, Matchroom, what they do is good for the public. I can only say what we’ve been doing is well received.
“We’ve had good ratings for our shows according to the rating system. I’m pleased that we’ve got some great fighters in a good position, and we got some really big fights coming up.
“He’s very lucky, Dana [White], because he does it his way, and it’s the only way,” Warren continued. “He’s not dealing with governing bodies. There aren’t options like you got in boxing. If you don’t want to fight for one governing body, you can fight for another.
“If you don’t fight for one promoter, you can fight for another promoter. So the fighters have options. They’re different sports anyway. They’re totally different sports, obviously, and different disciplines. Boxing has always been the most popular contact sport, and always will be.
“The biggest fight captures the public’s imagination, and it always does. It took the biggest UFC fighter’s involvement to fight a boxer [Floyd Mayweather Jr]. Conor McGregor fought a boxer and got beat by Mayweather. So boxing for me, boxing is a sport I love.
“For me, it’s the best sport. Of course, there’s a lot of problems in boxing, but there are problems in all businesses and all walks of life. It’s called competition. The fact that you have competition makes it healthy because if it were a monopoly, there might be a problem. The ones that would suffer, the two groups that would suffer are the fighters and the public,” said Warren.
As far as UK boxing goes, it would help if Matchroom worked with Warren to put on some exciting shows for the public. Who wouldn’t want to see Daniel Dubois taking on Dillian Whyte or Anthony Joshua?
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