Advertisement: IBO Boxing

Dana White: Zuffa Boxing Fights To Be Announced Soon, Pandemic Was Blessing

UFC president Dana White’s on-again, off-again venture into boxing is all systems go once more.

White is currently in Yas Island in Abu Dhabi promoting Saturday’s UFC 254 showdown between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje for the lightweight title, but he took time to talk about his long-anticipated entry into the ring by way of Zuffa Boxing.

"I would say that COVID was a blessing for Zuffa Boxing. So I'm working on a fight right now that I'll be announcing soon. I will be putting on a fight here soon in boxing,” White told Farah Hannoun in an interview with UFC Arabia. “We’ll see how this thing goes. I'm just dipping my toe into the water. I'm not diving into this head first. I think that I have a cool concept, and I’m going to give it a shot … This is a fight I’ve been wanting to do. I’m excited about doing this, and I’m going to play with it to see how it works out.”


White said that he will be pitting boxers against one another, and not crossover fights, like when former UFC champion Conor McGregor unsuccessfully challenged Fighter of the Decade Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017, or when James Toney was submitted by Randy Couture in 2010 in the UFC cage.

White said it’s “highly unlikely” that a boxer can beat an MMA fighter in the cage, and the same goes for an MMA fighter trying to beat a boxer in the ring.

White continued to say that the boxing model is “broken” and the “whole thing needs to be changed. I honestly don’t know if it’s fixable,” reemphasizing similar statements he’s made in the past.

The executive largely responsible for shaping MMA into the mainstream spectrum has been wanting to take a swing at the sweet science for quite some time, but White has expressed his qualms many times along the way.

At the beginning of the pandemic in March, when all sports were on hiatus, White told Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports why he had cold feet in boxing, just months after expressing he was forming a partnership with Mayweather Jr.

“I hate speaking negatively about the sport of boxing,” White said, “other than the fact that it’s a mess – we all know it’s a mess – and that it needs to be fixed, if it can be fixed. I told you guys that I would have a press conference last October and announce all these things, but as I dove into this thing and started to look into the sport of boxing, the economics of boxing, that sport’s a mess. It’s a mess and it’s in big trouble. I don’t know. I don’t know if it can be fixed.”

White surely had boxing on the backburner in recent months because he had to scramble and salvage his company’s live events business.

By September, with the UFC successfully back up and running, White switched his stance, further proving his sentiment that the pandemic was indeed a north star for his vision into boxing.

“The world of boxing hasn’t been able to do what I’ve been able to do [in MMA] over the last 20 years,” White told BT Sport. “If they can’t do things when the world is normal, you can’t expect them to do things when the world is crazy. I peeked under the hood a lot there for the last year. Looked at different things and I said, ‘I don’t know man, I don’t know if this is fixable.’ Funny enough, since the pandemic I’ve been looking at other options too. When it’s time, I’ll let you know.”

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by paulf on 10-23-2020

[QUOTE=REDEEMER;20834251]No you are lying because White admits it’s an uphill battle and boxing prob can’t be fixed the way it’s structured. Which is a direct opposite of what you said of him not knowing what he’s getting into . For…

Comment by REDEEMER on 10-23-2020

[QUOTE=paulf;20834243]Yes. He will fail like the rest if he moves forward.[/QUOTE] No you are lying because White admits it’s an uphill battle and boxing prob can’t be fixed the way it’s structured. Which is a direct opposite of what you…

Comment by paulf on 10-23-2020

[QUOTE=REDEEMER;20832740]Did you even read the article ?[/QUOTE] Yes. He will fail like the rest if he moves forward.

Comment by EdWins on 10-23-2020

"The pandemic WAS a blessing" see they're already writing this hoax off yet some people still out here panicking. Looking @ you ya facemask nazis

Comment by sicko on 10-22-2020

Offer to promote only Big Fights, don't jump into Boxing signing Fighters To these Exclusive Deals then you will struggle to find them quality opponents because of Boxing Politics If he is willing to put up the money and offer…

Top Headlines
WBC Prez Views Canelo vs. Spence as Mega-Fight in Future Errol Spence vs. Danny Garcia: Judges, Referee For Fight Saturday Night Fundora vs. Ahmed, Lopez vs. Santana - Weights Errol Spence, Danny Garcia - Ready For Showdown in Texas Billy Joe Saunders Dominates, Batters Martin Murray For Wide Decision Billy Joe Saunders vs. Martin Murray - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard James Tennyson Destroys Josh O'Reilly in One Round Lerrone Richards Wins Matchroom Debut, Shannon Courtenay Bounces Back Claressa Shields Shreds Savannah Marshall: She Lives Off That Amateur Win Clay Collard, Robeisy Ramirez To Stay Busy on Stevenson-Clary Card Errol Spence-Danny Garcia Weigh-In Results From Dallas Zach Parker-Cesar Nunez Pulled From Saunders-Murray Bill Due To Late Positive COVID Test Arum: Wilder Has No Rights To Third Fury Fight, Claim Will Be Denied Anthony Yarde, Lyndon Arthur - Ready For War Yunieski Gonzalez To Face Alex Theran in Miami, Florida Martin Murray: Saunders Fight A Few Years Late But We're Both Looking Forward To It Spence: Weird People On Twitter Told Me, 'I Wish You Would've Died' In Car Accident Mike Tyson: YouTube Stars Make Boxing Alive - UFC Was Kicking Our Butt! Saunders: Four, Five Weeks Not Enough Time For Smith To Prepare To Beat Canelo Martin Murray: I Don't Think Saunders Has Fought Anyone Like Me Nazarena Romero Battles Julieta Cardozo for Interim-WBA Title in Argentina Hearn Wants To See Tyson Fury at Ringside at Joshua-Pulev We Can't Know 'The Truth' About Errol Spence Until We See Him Fight Danny Garcia Ashley Theophane Reflects on Career as Sam Eggington Clash Nears Morgan Believes a Knockout is Needed To Defeat Tim Tszyu Foreman: If Mike Tyson Has 3 More Exhibitions Like That - I'd Back Him Over Any Contender Brandon Adams Demolishes Sonny Duversonne in Two Gor Yeritsyan Breaks Down, Stops Mahonri Montes in Sixth Brian Ceballo Decisions Larry Gomez Over Ten Rounds Ring City USA LIVE Results: Danielle Perkins Stops Princess Hairston Saunders: I Don't Blame Golovkin For Not Facing Me Berchelt Fends Off COVID, Eager To Get in The Ring With Valdez Fundora-Ahmed, Lopez-Santana, Ramirez-Flores - Face-Offs Mario Barrios Eyes Future Move To Welterweight, Spence-Garcia Winner Okolie In Search Of New Cruiserweight Title Fight Foe With Glowacki Out Anthony Yarde Will Be Looking For Fireworks, KO Win Over Arthur Danny Garcia: I Really Thought Spence's Career Was Over, Fight Wouldn’t Happen Anthony Joshua-Kubrat Pulev: No Ticket Priority For Families, Friends Anthony Yarde, Lyndon Arthur - Face-Off at Final Presser Billy Joe Saunders, Martin Murray - Ready For Battle
Latest Forum Threads