Dana White, the UFC president, is planning on branching out and going into boxing promotion. White was recently involved in the mega-fight between UFC star Conor McGregor and former multi-division boxing star Floyd Mayweather Jr. on August 26 last summer in Las Vegas, Nevada.
While the fight was viewed as a joke by hardcore boxing fans, it still caught on with the casual fans and the diehard MMA fans. The fight brought massive numbers of PPV buys, hitting over 4 million, and raking in tons of dough for both fighters.
White has loved boxing his entire life, so it’s a no-brainer that he would give boxing promotion a try. White said this week at Freddie Roach’s Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles that he’d “Getting into boxing, 100 percent.”
White will be picking up a promoter’s license so that he can begin promoting. It’ll still be tough for White to make it big in boxing unless he’s going to use popular UFC fighters and look to lure the most popular boxers to face them. Hopefully, that’s not what White is planning, as the interest in those type of mismatches will die out quickly once the fans realize that the MMA fighters have no chance against top boxers. Mayweather vs. McGregor is something that got a lot of fans interested due to their popularity, but even a circus fight like that can only pull in fans 1 or 2 times before the public catches on and realize it’s not a serious event.
White will still work as the president of the UFC while he’s working as a boxing promoter. It’s unclear how much longer White will stay in his position with the UFC, since he’s made a lot of money in the job. White has made $400 million with the UFC, according to ESPN.
“No, no, no, I’m not leaving the UFC. I’m getting into boxing with [WME/IMG head] Ari [Emanuel], and the UFC will be doing boxing too,” White said to the latimes.com.“It’s still early. We’re still working on it. I’ve got to get my [stuff] together, but I’m getting into boxing, man. It’s coming.”
Making it big in boxing is going to be very difficult for White. His perception of the kind of money that can be made in boxing might have been warped by the Mayweather-McGregor fight last summer. But that was a once in a lifetime type of fight.
Other than McGregor, there is no one else in the UFC that has the same kind of charisma and following to where he can throw them in the ring with a major boxing star like Saul Canelo Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin and expect the fans to purchase the mismatch in high numbers. The fans want real fights, and if they’re going to get ripped off with mismatches between UFC fighters against the top boxers, they’re going to be upset about it and stop purchasing the mismatches. Hopefully, White wants to be a real boxing promoter and work on serious fights involving guys from boxing, and not the hybrid mess the fans paid to watch last August between Mayweather and McGregor. That was a farce, and it failed to live up the hype.