By Carlos Boogs
During a recent podcast interview, Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum explained his reasons for believing that the UFC has a dominating edge over boxing when it comes to gaining the support of white American fans.
Arum believes the lack of white American fighters is driving away white American fans, and leading them to the UFC - where there is a high number of white American athletes.
And in case you were wondering, Arum says Easter European fighters like Gennady Golovkin and Sergey Kovalev don't count in the equation.
Arum feels the young white fans are especially being influenced to follow UFC, based on the fighters in their company roster.
"Watch a boxing show, and forget the Eastern Europeans, just look at Americans - how many white Americans do you see on a boxing card? You are lucky if you see one. Why? Because white Americans are not going into boxing," Arum stated on The Forward Podcast.
"So if you're a white kid in the United States, particularly in certain areas, you don't see your own kind performing. They look at the UFC, and predominantly the athletes in the UFC are white Americans. And therefore these white kids see themselves performing."
"There is no doubt in my mind, sport against sport, that boxing is a much more skillful sport than Mixed Martial Arts. However, UFC has the advantage in the white community, particularly with young whites - because they see themselves in the ring."
The UFC has taken a very strict position when it comes to drug testing their athletes. They brought in USADA [United States Anti-Doping Agency] to test their athletes in and out of competition. Arum says they were forced to make that move, because so many of their athletes were coming up positive for performance enhancing drugs.
"They had to do that because so many of their athletes, even with the testing that the Nevada State Athletic Commission was doing, were coming up dirty. So they were getting the reputation that all of the people performing in the UFC were dirty. And I think [illegal drug use is] much more prevalent in the UFC than it is in boxing," Arum said.