By Radio Rahim
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum has come swinging back at UFC President Dana White.
The two executives have been trading words for years, but their rivalry recently heated up when White announced that the UFC's parent company was going to enter the boxing market in 2018.
The UFC was the co-promoter of the blockbuster August pay-per-view, which saw their superstar fighter Conor McGregor make his professional debut in boxing against returning five division world champion Floyd Mayweather at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
McGregor was stopped in the tenth round, but the fight that many saw as a mismatch did huge numbers - with 4 million pay-per-view buys and a gate of $55 million.
White is going to hold meetings in 2018 with certain bigwigs in the sport and he believes a lot of boxers will flock to his new promotional banner.
But one thing he made clear was his position of not doing any business with Arum or Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya.
Arum believes White's main reason behind his decision to enter boxing is because the UFC is starting to financially crumble.
“Who gives a sh*t about White, he’s a piece of crap. It’s an acknowledgment how strong boxing is. He has the UFC that’s cratering, and he needs boxing to save himself," Arum said.
Having said that, Arum has absolutely no problem with White's company becoming a promotional player in boxing.
For years, White's company has claimed that boxing is mostly made up of a much older audience, while the UFC's audience is a younger demographic.
White's motivation to enter boxing debunks that claim, says Arum.
“If Dana White started promoting boxing, it would be terrific,” Arum said.
“Because it would show what we have now proven that boxing is not an old man’s sport, that our demographics are young. We’ve been up against them twice, and we’re up against them now for the third time, but a leveled playing field. Free television on ESPN, free television on FOX and FS1, and a lot of kids don’t have premium television because they can’t afford $15 a month.”
“So when we have a leveled playing field, we beat the pants off them [in the ratings], not only just overall rating but the demographics that everybody is looking for.”