White-Arum beef about competition Nov. 12th
August 24, 2011
Boxing promoter Bob Arum is not concerned about competition from the UFC on November 12th when his fighter, Manny Pacquiao fights Juan Manuel Marquez. Arum told ESPN that less than 5% of the UFC audience crosses over and that he’d be more concerned with competition if Fox aired a movie opposite the fights.
Arum believed that the UFC’s debut on Fox was no accident although Nov. 12th has historical significance for the UFC as it is the anniversary of UFC 1. White, a Pacquiao fan, acknowledged the competing events that night at the UFC-Fox press conference. It appears that the UFC on Fox debut will not interfere with the actual Pacquiao-Marquez main event.
Of course, Dana White fired back at Arum as only White can. He told Yahoo! Sports:
You had the ability, Bob Arum, to make boxing great. But the problem was, you were greedy. You’re a greedy pig, just like all the other guys who were involved in boxing. All you ever did was try to rip money out of it. You never invested a dime into the sport of boxing to make it great, to make it last, to create a future for boxing.
(H/t: Bad Left Hook)
Arum’s comments about the competition from the UFC is part bluster and part ignorance. There is an obvious overlap in followers of the two sports. Arum’s dismissal of the UFC’ competition shows a level of disdain he has for MMA and although he does not admit it, a competitor for fan dollars. Perhaps Arum simply does not understand the sport of MMA or feels it is really not a competitor, but taking shots at the UFC is a definite sign that he is taking notice. Usually White is the one with the first verbal volley, but his response was biting and somewhat true.
Another issue here is the November 12th date. Did the UFC set the date on the same night as Pacquiao-Marquez III on purpose? Is the UFC trying to make a splash on network tv and steal the headlines while making a statement about the sport of MMA versus boxing? Or, was it pure coincidence?