Noel A. Muro
November 17, 2017
Dana White has announced while speaking to a crowd at Hollywood director/producer Peter Berg’s Wild Card West Boxing Gym that he is going to be a boxing promoter.
While this may worry UFC fans right off the bat, he mentioned that he is in the process of obtaining his boxing promoters license and is not leaving the UFC, but the owners and himself will both be embarking on this journey together.
So it’s safe to say it will be a sister company to the UFC and most likely be called UFC Boxing or something along those lines.
Now let’s jump into some details and particulars about boxing and the UFC in 2017
Boxing in 2017
Boxing in 2017 was one of the best in recent years. The matchmaking was impecable and was full of fights that the fans wanted to see.
What would’ve been fantasy matches came to fruition in 2017 and even showcased Floyd Mayweather Jr. come out of retirement to box UFC champion, Conor McGregor in what turned out to be the biggest PPV event in history.
Aside from that, we saw the rise of superstar heavyweight Anthony Joshua defeat heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in an event that sold out Wembley Stadium (90,000 seats).
Another huge fight people wanted to see and was delivered on time was the satisfying and competitive fight that we know as Canelo vs. Golovkin.
The list of Great fights goes on and on but another milestone was the deals Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank Made with ESPN.
Golden Boy is putting young fighters on ESPN for exposure and bringing Thursday/Friday Night Fights to the viewers. Top Rank sought out a deal with ESPN to give fans what they want, big fights without the Pay-Per View price tag.
This year we saw Manny Pacquiao on ESPN, who would’ve ever thought that was going to happen?
As far as comparing boxing to the UFC in 2017, without the numbers I have a feeling boxing has overshadowed MMA, as the UFC have not had their most appealing/popular superstars compete lately; Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, Nate Diaz, etc.
UFC in 2017
Without trying to put the UFC down (because I am a UFC fan also) I’d like to point out that they’ve had an off year. The popular MMA company has some stars and rising stars still competing but they don’t nearly have as much star power as their predecessors.
It is true that as boxing has had its ups and downs, the UFC is experiencing one as well but still is the more popular program to watch especially among younger audiences. The UFC is not going anywhere.
UPDATE: Rumors of a Nate Diaz comeback for December of 2017 are floating around.
UFC Boxing Pros
Dana White is a big boxing fan and last August he got a taste of the boxing world as a boxing promoter. Big fights in boxing are big money, even more so than UFC fights.
This is all besides the point but, there has been an idea that WME/Dana White could co-promote or work with Al Haymon and his Premier Boxing Champions brand.
This would be a great route to put on more fights and give those fighters more opportunity than only fighting once a year and therefore preventing “boxing rust”.
With a loyal fan base, I can see UFC fans supporting them in their new boxing business venture. A vast majority of UFC fans could put more eyeballs on boxing as they did when supporting the Mayweather vs. McGregor bout.
With a premier year in boxing, marketing to younger viewers, and investing in the sport makes absolute sense.
UFC Boxing could create its own fights and cards working with smaller promotion companies and give them a grand stage to showcase their talents with the UFC name attached to the fights.
Dana and company could recruit young fighters that have no promoter (besides PBC fighters) and go that route. Searching for fresh new fighters that turned pro recently or give fighters that are frustrated and not getting enough action or exposure could also be an option.
UFC Boxing Cons
A bad way to start this is to get UFC fighters to enter boxing and fight each other.
There is a potential for mixed martial artists to use illegal moves in the ring and become disqualified. Another thing that could be a possibility is sloppy boxing.
Most mixed martial artists are not trained boxers, and could be put on to make for horrible entertainment with awkward styles though this route is unlikely.
In the end it seems we have more Pros than Cons. The only thing is some of the Cons could potentially hurt the sport as a whole.
It is exciting to know that more want to get into the boxing game and such a huge entity like the UFC wants in. This idea has so much upside and Dana White is such a promotional genius and what he has built thus far with mixed martial arts and the UFC.
Dana White and SHOWTIME worked pretty well together in that HUGE event last August. His ambition and drive to get into this business looks to be a great thing for boxing at this point in time.
If all goes well and non of the Cons mentioned above come to fruition, I think we’ll be golden.
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