Eddie Hearn: Dana White won’t be able to ‘control the fighters’ in boxing

Dana White
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Dana White will soon launch Zuffa Boxing, a promotion that he hopes will revolutionize The Sweet Science. As Zuffa Boxing draws nearer and nearer to fruition, White has said that he hopes to apply the same practices that have made the UFC so successful to this new boxing venture.

“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 told Helen Yee recently.

“[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.”

Eddie Heard, one of the most successful promoters in boxing today, believes White is going to have a tough time doing that. While he is complimentary of the UFC boss, he doesn’t seem to think the UFC model will work in boxing.

“I think Dana White is a very intelligent man,” Hearn said on MMA on SiriusXM with Luke Thomas (via Bloody Elbow). “I think he’s a great promoter as well. A lot of the stuff that he’s done with the UFC — I’ll be honest, I’ve copied a lot of it. They’ve done a great job.

“I think the difference [is] he’s gonna find it very different in boxing [compered to] UFC. It’s not a sport that you can go in and dominate the fighters, control the fighters, get them to sign contracts to fight ultimately whoever they’re told to fight, which is the UFC model.”

Eddie Hearn continued, driving home the point that Dana White will not be able to exert control over fighters in boxing the way he does in the UFC.

“One of the reasons I think the UFC does so well is because fighters really are told which fights they’re taking,” he said. “That’s not the way in boxing. [In] boxing, the fighters tend to have much more control over their career. Of course there are a number of promoters, there are a number of networks who are involved, so there’s a huge amount of politics in the sport of boxing, which is frustrating sometimes.

“I think that’s something that’s actually going to frustrate Dana White,” Hearn concluded. “So I would love him to have a go at that, because I think the more promoters, the more investment, the more people making effort to make this sport great, the better. So here’s more than welcome, but I don’t think he’ll have the same kind of model as the UFC.”

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/23/2019.