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Morning Report: Dana White speaks further on Zuffa boxing, admits sport ‘might be so broken that it can’t be fixed’

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Dana White Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Recently, Dana White announced that he had made a key hire for his overtures in boxing and that Zuffa boxing would be up and running by October. That’s an ambitious timeline to be ready to roll but perhaps even more ambitious is White’s plan for entering the boxing space.

For years, White has railed against boxing’s inability to make the best fights happen on a short timeline, if at all. White says that the issue is a fundamental misunderstanding of promotion and that if boxing promoters did things “the right way” they’d see an uptick in money, promotion, and fan engagement.

“Right there is one of the biggest problems with the sport of boxing,” White told Helen Yee when asked about the popular heavyweight Tyson Fury’s next opponent, Otto Wallin, a man who doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. “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.”

According to White, the key to success in his boxing venture will be to centralize boxers under one organizational structure, the same way it currently works with the UFC.

“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.”

That may be difficult to manage considering the pay implications. Top level boxers earn significantly higher paychecks than the highest paid MMA fighters and are generally more involved with all aspects of the promotion. But speaking recently to Sports Illustrated (transcript via Bloody Elbow), White said that may be true but the bottom tier fighters hardly make anything and he’d like to bring a pay structure like the UFC’s to boxing, where everyone benefits.

“The fighters get paid,” White said. “Everybody gets paid. Everybody is being paid, and it’s not just the top 2-3. Everybody on the roster — I got over 600 guys that are getting paid and making a living and feeding their families and buying houses and cars and all these other things.”

“Now when you look at boxing, a handful of guys make crazy money, and that’s the way it’s always been built. And then you have thousands of people that don’t. So I think that we can create a pay system [in boxing] that benefits everybody,” White continued.

“There still fights out there where you just turn pro and guys are making $400 to fight. $100 per round and things like that. You got guys fighting for world titles for $10,000 and $15,000. That’s what I want to fix.”

Well, he won’t have to go far to find willing participants. A number of current UFC fighters have shown an interest in competing in the boxing realm. White though, is less keen on that idea than you might think, though he admits it’s not out of the question.

“I don’t love it,” White told Helen Yee. “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.”

But even White is able to admit that this may all be a pipe dream. Despite his plans and hopes, White concedes that at the end of the day, Zuffa Boxing might fail.

“It is what it is,” White said. “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.”


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VIDEO STEW

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Tattoo artist reacts to MMA tattoos. Rough for all the fighters. And super rough for every tattoo artist who have no idea what the Souther Cross is.


LISTEN UP

Eurobash. An in-depth interview with Paul Felder.

Anik & Florian. Recapping UFC 241 and all the fallout from it.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Conor.

Remember when Dana was claiming Nate was like five weight classes too big for Conor? Internet, do your thing.

Hell of a fight.

So much for saving the flyweight division. Henry got fights with everyone that’s not Joe B.

Does TJ know why he’s currently suspended? Cuz, uh, this is just an invitation to get dragged.

Out.

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Доброго дня дорогие друзья , Братья и сёстры ,Ассалам Алейкум. К сожалению бой в Абу-Даби 7 сентября я пропускаю по причине того,что получил серьёзную травму. При подготовке к бою я травмировал колено, надеясь , что это незначительная Травма , тейпировал ногу,надевал наколенник и продолжал тренироваться, на очередном спарринге разнёс своё колено , порвал связку , титановый болт который был в колене с предыдущей операции(которую я делал в Германии 5 лет назад )повредил кость. Вчера в городе Вена(Австрия ) меня оперировал прекрасный хирург Профессор Вайнштабел ( Privatklinik) спасибо ему огромное за проделанную операцию . Всем бойцам желаю ярких побед и самое главное в этом деле без травм. А я дорогие друзья вернусь ещё сильнее , теперь я железный человек))! Спасибо всем кто поддерживал и поддерживает меня. #privatklinik #austria #Vienna #UFC

A post shared by Adam-Djamal Yandiev Boroda (@adam_yandiev_boroda) on

These two are insane.

Congrats.

This is a solid one.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Joe Schilling (4-5) vs. Tony Johnson (8-2); Bellator 229, Oct. 4.

Eryk Anders (12-4) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (30-11); UFC Tampa Bay, Oct. 12.

Molly McCann (9-2) vs. Diana Belbita (13-4); UFC Boston, Oct. 18.

Deron Winn (6-0) vs. Darren Stewart (10-4); UFC Boston, Oct. 18.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2004: Randy Couture reclaimed his light heavyweight title in his rubber match with Vitor Belfort at UFC 49: Unfinished Business. This event also featured Yves Edwards highlight-reel flying head kick KO of Josh Thomson. That was the final fight in the UFC’s lightweight division for nearly two years until the division was reinstated at UFC 58.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

Poll

How will Zuffa boxing fare?

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    It’s going to fail.
    (421 votes)
  • 21%
    It will end up being mostly UFC fighters boxing.
    (242 votes)
  • 29%
    It will be another promoter, like any other.
    (334 votes)
  • 10%
    It’s going to completely change the game.
    (119 votes)
1116 votes total Vote Now

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