Despite claims from pugilist Manny Pacquiao that talks for an April super fight against UFC lightweight star Conor McGregor have begun, UFC president Dana White adamantly denied said claims on Saturday and continued his ongoing beef with Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum.
Even recently White announced his planned venture into boxing promotion. The long-time MMA promoter believes the current crop of boxers would enjoy fighting under the WME/Zuffa umbrella.
Promoter Bob Arum, also replied to White on Saturday evening after the Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux boxing match, saying that Pacquiao’s people reached out to McGregor team months ago but that nothing has come from it at the moment (via Fight Hub TV) and that he isn’t interested in doing the fight.
“Is it true that Pacquiao reached out to McGregor? Yes, but it’s old news,” said Arum.
“I would do it for Manny but for me, if I promoted that fight, I would tell everybody up front, ‘Guess what, it’s not a f**king fight. If you want a spectacle, you can watch it. But one thing I would be sure of is Manny wouldn’t carry McGregor the way the other guy did.”
Arum thinks White has other reasons for getting into this new endeavor.
Both Arum and White have been at odds from years threw shade at each other via social media, Arum took the opportunity to take shots at White for his recent statements that the UFC is looking at promoting boxing in the future as well.
“Who gives a s**t about White?” said Arum (via Fight Hub TV). “He’s a piece of crap. It’s an acknowledgment how strong boxing is that he has a UFC that’s cratering and he needs boxing to save himself.
“For me, that would be great. If Dana White started promoting boxing it would be terrific 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 level playing field, free television ESPN and free television FS1, and when it’s free . . . and we’ve got a level playing field, we beat the pants off them.”
White, who has been trading insults with Arum for more than a decade, presented a stern warning.
“You’ll see, Bob,” White said. “We’ll see at the end. Bob’s the same guy who said the UFC would never work, and the UFC was loosing ‘oodles’ of money, whatever the f— ‘oodles of money’ means. Look at what we’ve done and look at where we are. I mean, come on. At the end of the day, we’ll see who stands where when the smoke clears and the dust settles.
“I’ll give it to him, though. For a f—— 95-year-old dude, this guy’s pretty feisty, man. I’ll give it to him. I’ll give him that.”
Pacquiao last fought in July 2017, where he lost via a controversial unanimous decision verdict against Jeff Horn in Brisbane, Australia. He also dropped the WBO welterweight title in the process.