UFC President Dana White will soon launch Zuffa Boxing, a boxing promotion that he hopes will revolutionize The Sweet Science.
As the official launch of Zuffa Boxing draws nearer — it’s targeted for this fall — several UFC fighters have already hinted that they’d like to step through the ropes and test their mettle in the Zuffa boxing ring.
White isn’t particularly interested in having his fighters drift between the two sports, however.
“I don’t love it,” White told Helen Yee (transcript via MMA Fighting). “I don’t love the idea of guys crossing over because these guys that box, these four big heavyweights we’re talking about, they’ve been doing it their whole life. These guys are really good, very talented athletes. They would get killed in MMA and these guys would probably get beat up in boxing so I don’t love the idea but we did Mayweather-McGregor so I guess I can never say never anymore.”
Dana White has repeatedly stated that it’s his goal to remedy some of the big problems that are currently plaguing the boxing world — namely the fact that top fighters are often unable to fight each other due to contractual constraints. He points to the fact that lineal heavyweight champ Tyson Fury is set to fight a veritable no-name in Otto Wallin rather than Deontay Wilder, Andy Ruiz or Anthony Joshua.
“Right there is one of the biggest problems with the sport of boxing,” White said. “You’ve got a guy like Tyson Fury who comes off this amazing fight with Deontay Wilder. It was a good fight, people loved the fight, and people were excited about it, and what happens? It ends in a draw and they don’t rematch. Or they don’t fight one of the other big two. How does that happen? How is that even possible? Again, that’s the sport and it’s one of the really not only bad things about the sport it’s one of the really stupid things about boxing. Everybody wants to fight over their little tiny piece of turf when realistically, if they did things the right way, there’s tons of money for everybody. Everybody would make a lot of money, more fans would get involved, there’d be more media coverage, and the list goes on and on.”
While Dana White hopes to make a positive impact on the sport of boxing, he admits the sport might be so broken that not even he can fix it.
“It’s the sport and the politics in the sport and it has always been that way and if somebody doesn’t change it, it’s always gonna be that way,” White said. “[We will promote boxers] just like we promote all these guys here. First of all, in boxing there is no brand. I always talk about the machine, the UFC machine we’ve built here, and when we put guys or girls who are talented in the machine, you start to build them and there’s nothing like that in boxing. That’s what I want to build. I would do it just like I’ve done it here.”
“It is what it is,” White concluded. “I’m not acting like I’m Mr. I’m-Gonna-Come-In-And-Save-Everybody-And-Fix-Everything. I don’t know if it can be fixed. It might be so broken that it can’t be fixed. I don’t know the answer to that but we’re gonna try.”
How do you think Dana White will do as a boxing promoter?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/22/2019.