Dana White: Floyd Mayweather Jr. Is One of the Big Problems in Boxing
Dana White is an outspoken character and his brash attitude has helped build the UFC into the powerful sports organization it is. Though he has several faults and his business lacks in several areas, the UFC is miles ahead of boxing in at least one area: matchmaking. If fans want to see a fight, he makes it happen. Boxing is different; it’s run by individual fighters and promoters. Because of that, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has avoided fighting Manny Pacquiao (and fighting in general). That’s why White says Mayweather is “what’s wrong with boxing.”
Here’s what White had to say during an interview on WFAN in New York this week:
“I’m a huge, huge Manny Pacquiao fan. He is boxing right now. Floyd Mayweather, and Floyd and I go way back and I told Floyd to his face too, Floyd is one of the big problems with boxing. Holding out, not taking this fight with Manny Pacquiao, and doing what he’s doing. I think Manny Pacquiao is boxing. Everything about him is positive and I love the guy.”
Even though White is in the MMA business and has a history with Floyd as Rick Chandler notes, I think White is just being honest. White runs the UFC from a fan’s perspective; he puts on the fights he and they want to see. He doesn’t make those comments because he dislikes boxing (he still watches the top matches), he says it as a fight fan who wants to see the best matchups.
But getting back to the core of White’s assertion, I disagree. The problem with boxing is that it’s run by individuals rather than one league the way MMA essentially is (the UFC has become the preeminent brand in MMA). If Floyd feels it’s not worth it to get his head bashed on more than is necessary, why should he? He’s in boxing for himself, not for anyone else.
In contrast, the UFC is building a brand stronger than any of its fighters. The structure of boxing is the biggest problem with boxing. Floyd Mayweather Jr. does not have the best interests of the sport in mind, but he’s more a symptom of the biggest problem than he is the problem itself.