Zuffa Boxing is about to switch into high gear.
After first hinting at a move into the square circle with a role in “The Money Fight,” UFC President Dana White is taking meetings early next year with “everybody who’s anybody” in the boxing world.
“I’m going to start goofing around over there a little bit,” White said Tuesday during a media luncheon at UFC headquarters in Las Vegas.
Well, not everybody is invited. Rivals Bob Arum and Oscar De La Hoya – whom White nicknames “De La Coo-Coo” – won’t get face time. They may have much of the top boxing talent on lockdown, but he professes not to need them.
“I used to like Oscar,” White said. “How about that Conor McGregor vs. (Floyd) Mayweather was the biggest disgrace ever to the sport of boxing, but him vs. Conor isn’t?”
White and his co-promoters at Mayweather Promotions made a lot of money pairing McGregor and Mayweather. But they also drew howls from the boxing community, including De La Hoya, whose marquee event featuring Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin was pre-empted by “The Money Fight.”
De La Hoya might be an enemy. But White said the critics who once rung their hands are now wondering how they can cash in.
“They want to come out and talk and be a part of this,” he said.
White’s plan, at least at the moment, is to make some big fights on the order of the heavyweight title showdown in April between champ Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko. If White had his druthers, he would team up with Joshua.
“In my opinion, he’s the most marketable guy in boxing,” the UFC executive said.
It’s a different story for UFC fighters hoping to cross over. McGregor may have done so to fame and fortune, but White doesn’t plan to share talent.
“That’s not what I’m looking to do; I’m looking (to promote) boxing and UFC,” he said, adding, “No, not Conor.”
So, what happens to the business of the UFC? If White is taking a full-fledged stab at finding success in a different combat sport, who’s minding the ship at the industry-leading MMA promotion? Why now?
“I just feel it,” he said. “I feel like it’s the right time to give it a shot. Listen, can I do it? I don’t know. Will it work? I don’t know. But I think I have a pretty good idea of how to make it work, and I’m going to give it a shot.”
Watch the full video interview above to get more detail on White’s plan for boxing.
And for more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.
This news has been published by title UFC President Dana White Makes Push For Zuffa Boxing, But Oscar \'De La Cuckoo\' Not Invited
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