Implications for Zuffa Boxing Sanctioning Intentions
By Bryanna Fissori
Dana White has been teasing fans and fighters with the possibility of Zuffa Boxing becoming boxing’s latest promotional phenomenon.
Multiple press conferences and interviews have confirmed that the promotion will be hosted under the UFC umbrella with a similar format, which is heavily based on promoting and building the personalities of fighters through widespread marketing. Unlike most current boxing promotions which base the vast majority of marketing on only the main event, the UFC is known to have cards that have a significant draw starting at the undercard.
Zuffa Boxing Scouts Talent
Though nothing has been confirmed, there have been solid rumors that WBO champion Mikey Garcia is on Zuffa’s list of boxers they would like to sign. Anthony Joshua is also at the top of that list. Many other boxers and current UFC fighters have also shown interest in the promotion.
In an interview several months ago, White stated that he would not be moving his MMA fighters to over boxing. That being said, White also previously stated that women would never be in the UFC. The reality will likely depend on whatever makes the most financial sense.
New Boxing Sanctioning
One of the potential hiccups for Zuffa Boxing is that they have a number of limitations on current boxing enterprises that they will work with. White has been vocal about his distaste for Golden Boy Promotions, Top Rand and Showtime. Just a few days ago, White also confirmed that Zuffa Boxing would not work with any of the current boxing sanctioning bodies. These include the WBA, WBC, IBF, IBO and WBO.
Over the years there has been continual talk of belt unification since there are so many different sanctioning bodies. Zuffa Boxing is uninterested in that conversation and intends to create a separate league. This is not a big surprise. The UFC has found a great amount of success in promoting their champions as superior to those of other organizations.
Ali Act Implications
The Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act is a major part of deciding what can and cannot happen on the business end of boxing. Having both a promotion and a sanctioning body may prove difficult under the rules of the Ali Act. The Ali Act does not explicitly deny a promotion the ability to also host a sanctioning body. But there is an approval process through the ABC and Federal Trade Commission that has to be completed before the sanctioning body can receive compensation. There are also tight restrictions on contracts and ancillary rights agreements that differ from the UFC’s current protocol.
There is a currently a movement amongst MMA fighters to extend the Ali Act to encompass all combat sports participants. The UFC has opposed the movement.
What’s Next for Zuffa Boxing?
It has been nearly 10 months since Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. stood toe to toe in the ring. Rumors of Zuffa Boxing began before the first bell rang. Since then, fighters and fans have been waiting to see what is next. Unlike a small regional promotion, Zuffa Boxing will have a lot more legwork to do before hosting their own boxing card. This is especially true if they plan to create their own sanctioning body and fresh set of fighters contracted to the organization. Until then, we continue to wait and see.
How Many Older Boxing Fans Have Switched to MMA-UFC?
By: Ken Hissner
At age 74 this writer has been a boxing fan since at age 8 watching the rematch between then World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Marciano and the former champion “Jersey” Joe Walcott on TV with my dad.
I’ve watched many changes especially in boxing. The then great trainers didn’t always pass down their knowledge possibly in fear of losing a fighter they trained. Trainers are in a position where “they do not have a contract with a boxer” as the manager does so there is little protection. You lose a fight today and the boxer changes trainers as if it were the fault of the trainer and not the boxers.
At an early age I loved watching professional wrestling. Several of my favorites were Argentina Rocca and Haystacks Calhoun. With age I realized the results in wrestling was known prior to the match. I was told by one who was involved in wrestling a “blood capsule” was placed in the mouth of a wrestler and when “hit” the blood from the capsule looked like real blood coming out. Granted, they had to be in good enough condition to take the tumbles and falls they did.
In time I grew out of watching wrestling though once watching high school wrestling at state championships in Pennsylvania with three events going on at once I knew that at that level let alone college it was really a tough sport. That is probably where some of the better MMA-UFC fighters have an advantage today.
We now live in a “blood thirsty” society that the more violence the better for the say 20 to 50 crowd enjoy the more blood and violence the better! I don’t even want to get into the NFL’s violence. Do they test for steroids?
So as more American men today rather choose playing a team sport where they can make plenty of money without having to take all the “blame” whereas unless it’s a last play failing the team takes the blame for the loss not the individual as in boxing it’s “safer!” Today in boxing you have some of the best P4P boxers coming from Eastern Europe where they come to the United States “hungry” like the Americans did say in the 50’s and 60’s they have great success. The Ukraine’s Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko and Kazakhstan’s Gennady “GGG” Golovkin are great examples of that today.
So along comes MMA-UFC and I can’t believe how the fan’s go crazy for the violence as they do for American football where the injuries are horrific. A quarterback literally takes his life into his hands waiting to be crushed by a 250 pound “monster” hitting him from the-blindside! I couldn’t believe it when while serving in the Army in the mid 60’s when NY Jet quarterback Joe Namath claimed he couldn’t go in because of “bad knees!” Bad knees? How dangerous would it have been getting inducted and probably leading recruits into calisthenics? You think the greats like Joe “The Brown Bomber” and “Sugar” Ray Robinson were put into combat while serving during World War II?
The Gracie family has brought their development of Brazilian jiu-jitsu into Mixed Martial Arts and made their mark! From this writers point of view I see two guys wrestling to the ground as in a street fight with one on top of the other smashing his face into submission and think “such brutality”. There are skills I don’t watch long enough to pick up on. At least in boxing it is against the rules of “hitting below the belt”.
Now there seems to be a resurgence coming in Bare Knuckle Boxing. Top unbeaten BKB fighter Bobby Gunn once told me “it’s not as brutal as boxing” because one punch usually can end it much sooner than taking a beating over ten rounds with boxing gloves on.
To make long story by now not so short for someone over 60 getting the thrill watching MMA-UFC as one would seeing for example the first Marciano-Walcott fight when the challenger was well behind going into the thirteenth round and pulls out by way of knockout is second to none!
Floyd Mayweather vs. Himself: The Octagon Theory
By: James Risoli
What makes a person who they are? What propels and motivates us to do the things we do? More specifically, why do fighters have such a hard time in the twilight of their careers with hanging up their gloves, unable to walk off into the sunset, after such an arduous journey which often times consists of unforgiving years of blood, sweat, and tears?
If one was to look up the word fighter in the dictionary the definition is one that any person that ever lived would know does not encapsulate it’s real world meaning. A fighter by any sense of the word is someone who challenges themselves. Who goes beyond their normal limits to achieve success in whatever endeavor they are trying to complete. A fighter may not always seek out but will always stand up to challenges and tribulations put forth or laid out before them. All fighters, especially those in the fight game, need to be able to know that the person staring back at them is the same person they believe themselves to be in their heart of hearts.
For those of us that do not know Floyd Mayweather, the man has been a fighter in every sense of the word way before any serious consideration was given to it becoming his profession. Born on February 24th 1977 in Grand Rapids Michigan and then moving at a very early age to the Hiram Square neighborhood of New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mayweather learned about the sometime all too familiar hardships of life at an early age in dealing with poverty and drugs, including a drug addicted mother. Mayweather would later say, “When I was about eight or nine, I lived in New Jersey with my mother and we were seven deep in one bedroom and sometimes we didn’t have electricity. When people see what I have now, they have no idea of where I came from and how I didn’t have anything growing up.” Mayweather’s story however, is one of a more personal nature and perhaps one that would be better told by himself than this author. However, it is important to mention because it bears significance to the “term” fighter. His story could possibly bare some insight into some of his current state of affairs and those future decisions and or plans that may be taking shape or unfolding in his mind’s eye.
By most accounts and for all intents and purposes, Floyd Mayweather has achieved everything there is to achieve in boxing. In a career that spanned two decades Mayweather has done what only one other person could, that being Rocky Marciano. 50 times Floyd Mayweather entered the ring and 50 times Floyd Mayweather’s hand was raised in victory. During his career, he has held multiple world titles in five weight classes and the lineal championship in four of those. In 2016, Mayweather was ranked as the best pound for pound fighter in the past 25 years by ESPN. He is one of the most marketable pay per view fighters of all time, as well as, one of the highest paid athletes in the world. So, the real news and noteworthy question of the day is, why after all this is Mayweather talking about the UFC and walking in the octagon?
Many people have been asking this particular question. Most people think the idea is outrageous, if not borderline crazy, or an actual joke. A statement muttered in jest. However, I for one do not believe that to be the case. Although not the norm, it is not completely uncommon for fighters to attempt a chance at crossing over from discipline to discipline. All one would have to do is just look to Floyd’s most recent and last opponent, Conor McGregor, who tried to accomplish this exact same feat. So, once again, why then is Mayweather entertaining this idea? Why after all the victories and all the achievements is it possible that this is in all actuality a real plausible possibility? Simple, because for the fighters we love and adore, those that bleed and train for the fans to see, cheer, and adore the answer is quite simple. All one would have to look at is the meaning of the word fighter.
Anthony Joshua: “This Isn’t About Being A Fan Favorite”
By: Sean Crose
“Preparations’ gone really well,” Anthony Joshua claimed on a Wednesday conference call to promote his heavyweight title unifier against Joseph Parker on March 31st in Cardiff, Wales. “ I do believe a happy fighter makes a good fighter.” Joshua, the 20-0, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titlist, has good reason to be happy. He’s pretty much regarded as the king of the heavyweight division and has a superfight with Deontay Wilder around the corner, provided he bests Parker. The man’s also enormously popular.
“Two hundred and forty thousand fans,” promoter Eddie Hearn bragged in reference to stadium sized crowds Joshua has been packing in throughout Great Britain. “Over two and a half million UK pay per view buys. It’s been an incredible run.” For the time being, however, Team Joshua has made it clear the focus is on the 24-0 Parker. “I’m not the one overlooking Joseph Parker,” Joshua claimed, “and I’m not the one hooting and hollering on what’s happening next.” Hearn backed up his fighter’s assertion. “We never have to worry about Anthony’s focus,” the superpromoter claimed. And besides, “he’s not really into hype.”
What Joshua is into, however, is boxing. Listening to the man for just a few minutes’ time, one gets the impression that Joshua more than just competes as a fighter. He studies the sport objectively. For instance, his opinion of former foe Wladimir Klitshcko, who he feels was a bigger threat than Parker, is quite telling. “Wladimir was a phenomenal champion,” he claimed. “He was a great champion. Ten years on top. Phenomenal.” Joshua made it clear his 2017 fight with Klitschko was an incredible growing experience. “Everything I learned form that fight was a blessing,” he said.
Not that Joshua is underestimating New Zealand’s Parker. “Parker still possesses a threat,” Joshua claimed, “but he doesn’t have half the experience Wladimir had.” Parker brings his own set of experiences, though, something that Joshua noted. “He knows how to fight,” he said of Parker. “He’s traveled the world.” To Joshua, boxing is a most serious business. He made it obvious on Wednesday that one doesn’t dominate the heavyweight division with just “a right hand and a good chin.”
“We’re talking about balance,” he said. “We’re talking about footwork…being in range, being out of range…the jab.” To Joshua, boxing mastery entails an entire litany of subjects. “Everything,” he stated. “We’re talking about everything.” Now that he’s at the top of boxing’s pecking order, the fighter intends to make the most of it. “I just realize that this is my time,” he said. Perhaps surprisingly for someone as personable as he is, Joshua makes it clear that he’s in the business primarily for himself. “This isn’t about being a fan favorite,” he pointed out. “I’m here to handle my business the best way possible.”
Despite what Joshua may want, fans are dying to see him get in the ring with WBC titlist Deontay Wilder, something Joshua is aware of, though he admits he hasn’t “thought much about it.” Not that he wants to avoid the American knockout artist. “There’s no doubt in my mind that that fight will happen,” he said, “and there’s no doubt in my mind I’ll beat Wilder, as well.” So promising does Joshua’s career appear at the moment that UFC honcho Dana White reportedly wants in on the Joshua business.
“Listen,” Joshua said, “I’m riding with Eddie (Hearn)…I’m a boxer. I’m not into the UFC. I don’t know what their plans are.” Yet White needn’t fret. “I’m interested,” Joshua claimed, “because we can work together.” Not surprisingly, the titlist puts his faith Hearn when it comes to such matters. “I’m sure Eddie has an interest in working with Dana White,” he claimed. “We’re listening and, one hundred percent, if it makes sense, we’re all in.” Not that it’s foremost in Joshua’s mind right now.
“I’m wracking up wins,” he said. “It’s been going well. I’m not focusing on anything else, really.”
Boxing vs. MMA, Why Crossover Fights Rarely Go Well
By: Jose Cuevas
We were treated to the first MMA versus Boxing superfight in Conor McGregor versus Floyd Mayweather back in August of 2017. Many experts argued the fight was a blatant cash grab, a farce, and even a circus.
The fight illustrates the challenge that comes along with making a fight between a Mixed Martial Artist and a Boxer. They are cousins of one another, but they are two completely different disciplines.
One may think an elite Mixed Martial Artist should, key word should, be able to hang in the ring with an elite boxer. That proposition is absurd, mainly due to the fact that Boxers must account for only using their fists in combat. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that one form of combat is more than the other. Boxers must master controlling the distance between themselves and their opponent, use of their footwork to properly leverage all of their punches, learn to counter effectively while slipping or catching punches, etc… While mixed martial artists must try and master as many disciplines as possible.
How many times in the cage have we seen individuals proficient in wrestling or judo dominate strikers in the cage? Mixed Martial artists, to their credit, have the difficult task of being prepared for every scenario, they need to be good strikers, kickboxers, wrestlers, and submission specialists. This is why Conor McGregor lost against Floyd Mayweather. Floyd had decades of experience mastering footwork, mastering counterpunching, and mastering the sport of boxing…while Conor was proficient at best but not a master at the highest level.
Think about multitasking…MMA is the perfect form of multitasking when it comes to combat sports. While an MMA fighter is on his feet he’s thinking about what punches to land, possible takedown attempts, kicks, flying armbars, etc…the brainpower and strategy that is required to be aware of so many different variables is remarkable. Boxing exists in a controlled environment where fighters have to only worry about punches, but in only worrying about punches they use the rest of their body to maximize their punches which makes the sport unique and difficult to master at the highest level.
Imagine placing the Chess world champion in a match of Chinese checkers against the world champion, it may not make for a competitive match as the Chess expert has had years of experience mastering his/her craft in their controlled environment, while the Chinese checkers expert has done the same in their own respective controlled environment. Therein lies the key…the sports are executed in their own specific controlled environment. This isn’t the Matrix where you can plug into a program and just learn it, it takes time and lots of it.
I was recently covered Bellator 194 where Heather “The Heat” Hardy fought Ana Julaton. Hardy easily won the bout by working as hard as possible to keep the fight on her feet. Hardy is a former undefeated boxer and world champion, she undoubtedly made her mark in boxing and now hopes to make her mark in MMA. However, in her previous fight she was thoroughly annihilated by a debuting mixed martial artist.
Kristina Williams outclassed Hardy with head kicks and leg kicks and busted her wide open. Hardy was not prepared for the onslaught as Williams was an expert with her kicks and could hold Hardy’s boxing skills at bay. The fight was stopped in the second round as Hardy was bleeding profusely and she could no longer defend herself. This is a perfect example of what happens when you drop a boxer in the realm of MMA with a well-rounded mixed martial artist, it’s a whole different ball game.
Rumors have been circulating that Floyd Mayweather will enter the Octagon. That is a disastrous idea as Floyd is a master of boxing, but not a master of fighting in the uncontrolled controlled environment of MMA. However, don’t be fooled, Mayweather is a meticulous matchmaker and he may enter the cage against an opponent with little to no cage experience like CM Punk, which would level the playing field significantly. However, if he is matched with a Mickey Gall, a debuting professional MMA fighter with a lot of experience….expect him to suffer the same fate as Heather Hardy.
MMA and Boxing are too different, it will require meticulous matchmaking to make a newcomer look good in either realm. Don’t let your eyes fool you they may be combat sports…but the controlled environment of either changes the dynamic completely. The sooner we realize that the sooner we learn to respect both sports and appreciate them for what they offer to the overall realm of combat sports. In realizing that MMA and Boxing are different we can stop this madness of MMA and Boxing crossovers as rarely will you get your money’s worth…you may be getting all the spectacle you desire, but that’s a topic for another article…
Roy Jones Jr.’s Final Bout Makes History on UFC Fight Pass
By Bryanna Fissori
A small bit of history has been made. Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. has fought his last bout, and UFC Fight Pass has aired its first boxing card.
Island Fights 46 hosted the farewell match for Roy Jones Jr. (65-9) on February 8th against Scott Sigmon (30-11-1). At the age of 49, Jones has had quite a career. He still contends that he can keep up with the young boxers, but has opted to give them a break.
The Bout Goes the Distance
To the surprise of many, the bout lasted all ten rounds. Jones spent much of that time conversing with his cornermen, proving that this really was just another day at the office for this veteran of the ring.
Sigmon worked hard to close the distance and pressure Jones against the ropes. He was actually fairly successful in burying his head in the chest of Jones and throwing repeated strikes from the inside. The problem was one of quality versus quantity. Jones still landed clean shots from the inside, leaving Sigmon visibly worn down. Jones was much more successful than Sigmon at landing when there was any sort of space available.
At one point a commentator stated, “If Roy Jones could use his thumbs he would probably be texting during this fight.”
Jones won by unanimous decision.
UFC Fight Pass Format
As the inaugural card for boxing on UFC Fight Pass, there were several similarities to UFC organized productions. The “tale of the tape” was very similar to that of UFC or other MMA productions. This is when the two competitor’s statistics are compared side by side. The introduction of the fighters was also very similar to the presentation in a UFC main card.
UFC Fight Pass is a content streaming service that currently works with MMA organizations from around the world as well as kickboxing, Muay Thai and submission grappling. Plus subscribers have VOD access to over 16,000 historical fights from 37 promotions, documentaries and the UFC’s TV archive.
The UFC Fight Pass production crew does have some say in how the event is conducted, but the promotions are not required to mimic the UFC format.
UFC Fight Pass and Boxing
“This is the first live boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS. I love being the first to do something, so to be the first boxing event on UFC FIGHT PASS is cool. When I turned pro back in 1989, I said I wanted to bring new audiences boxing and that’s what I tried to do. By having my last night as a fighter on the UFC’s (streaming service) I’m bringing new eyeballs to boxing and I’m throwing a spotlight on the boxing and MMA fighters who are on the event,” said Jones.
“I’m been a fan of the UFC for years. Me and (UFC President) Dana White have been friends for a long time, since before he even got started with the UFC. We’ve talked about FIGHT PASS showing a fight (of mine) and it has come about perfectly.”
Another interesting mention was in round five when the commentators discussed this bout being the last for Jones. Apparently he is still interested in a potential superfight with UFC star Anderson Silva. They seem to believe it is a possibility.
This would not be the first MMA/Boxing crossover, though it would be an interesting one. The UFC intends to start their own boxing promotion under the name “Zuffa Boxing,” opening up more opportunities for boxing competitors and fans.
What are the Odds for Mayweather in MMA? Money Wants to Know
by Bryanna Fissori
Did anyone really think Floyd Mayweather Jr was going to fade softly into the sunset and live a quiet, normal life? For a man who lives for the spotlight, retirement is probably a little disconcerting.
The MMA Trash Talk
Whether you call the champ attention-seeking, narcissistic or genius, Mayweather certainly knows how to put the masses on notice. The back and forth banter between Mayweather and MMA fighter Conor McGregor began in the spring of 2017 and has yet to stop. This is over five month after they met in the ring, Mayweather winning by TKO in the 10th round.
Since the beginning there has been talk of Mayweather trying his hand (and maybe feet) in the cage. The boxer has been purposefully vague on the topic, eluding that he could go to MMA, but that essentially he can do anything he wants to. That doesn’t mean he is going to do it.
Mayweather Twitter Video
Earlier this week, Mayweather took the media a step further when he posted a short clip on Twitter of him walking into the cage at Syndicate, an MMA gym in Las Vegas, Nevada. Syndicate is home to a number of high-level fighters in the area, including several in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship).
Following his first Tweet, Mayweather posted a second video showing him inside the cage. He looks at the camera and says just a few words;
“2018, Floyd Money Mayweather. MMA. What are the odds, Paddy? What are the odds?”
The video starts at the feet of Mayweather with a clear impression of the label “PADDYPOWER,” in white on his black shorts. PaddyPower.com is an online betting site.
Who is Paddy Power?
Can you think of a much simpler marketing tactic? A 14 second video clip, filmed on a smart phone is going viral with boxing’s biggest star front and center. May weather not only mentions “Paddy” in the segment, he is also wearing the logo. The only thing that could have put icing on the cake is maybe a #paddypower hashtag.
The betting site is traditionally Irish, which made it even more interesting when Mayweather showed up to weight ins for his bout against McGregor. When the boxing champ striped down, he was wearing a pair of green boxer briefs with “PADDYPOWER” across the front and tiny lettering all throughout, which read “always bet on black.”
The deal to get Mayweather into those briefs reportedly took a lot of patience and determination. Paddy Power representative were stood up in favor of yoga, kept waiting for hours starting around 2am at a strip club, followed by a fiasco of sewing machines to get the attire perfect to Mayweather’s liking.
Mayweather is reportedly heading to Minnesota to meet with Stephen Espinoza, Showtime executive. Espinoza told TMZ that an MMA fight would be a topic of conversation. “There’s a chance . . . whatever he puts his mind to, he sort of wills it into happening. [Floyd] willed the McGregor fight into happening. So, if he sets his mind to it, it’ll happen.”
There is no word yet on what Paddy Power had to do to get the Twitter video or if Mayweather is actually considering an MMA fight. Sure it will be a topic of conversation. It was great PR.
Is Mayweather really serious about MMA? Well, anyone want to bet on it?
Anthony Joshua has the Attention of UFC / Zuffa Boxing
By Bryanna Fissori
Heavyweight Champ Anthony Joshua has caught the attention of UFC President Dana White, who has been making waves in the boxing industry with announcement that the UFC will be entering the boxing ring under the name “Zuffa Boxing.”
Following his April 29, 2017 knockout of Wladimir Klirschko, White was quick to praise Joshua as the next big thing.
“Boxing had been DYING waiting for an exciting heavyweight champ,” White wrote on Instagram. “Now they have it in Anthony Joshua, CONGRATS champ.”
Looking to Make Boxing Stars
In a recent interview White announced that he would not be looking to cross over fighters on the UFC roster to fill boxing cards. Joshua is the one boxer that White showed interest in working with.
“In my opinion he’s the most marketable guy in boxing,” White told reporters.
With an arguably declining roster of “star power” heavyweights in the UFC it is no surprise that White has been scouring for new talent that he can build up.
One of the most prominent parts of the interview was the conversation about development of stars for Zuffa Boxing. The UFC has a positive reputation for building up their top fighters, making them marketable with interesting backstories, creative visuals and constant exposure. White looks to accomplish the same for Zuffa boxing.
Joshua Aspires to Increase Influence in Boxing
Anthony Joshua is the holder of heavyweight titles for the IBF, EBH and IBO. He is also a 2012 Olympic Boxing Gold Medalist.
Joshua aspires to achieve that kind of star rank. “Before I was happy just to be a part of boxing. I never hand a minute to reflect,” said Joshua. “But now I want to stamp my mark and my legacy and be among the like of Roger Federer. If I want to be like these guys I have to carry myself the right way. . . I want to be like the Ronaldos, Messies, Federers who compete with Nadal, Murry. That’s where I want to take boxing.”
Unifying the heavyweight title is the first goal for Joshua. To do so he is going to have to go through some heavy hitters. WBO titleholder Deontay Wilder and WBC titleholder Joseph Parker are on that list.
Dana White Plans to Create New Stars For Zuffa Boxing
By Bryanna Fissori
Earlier this week UFC President Dana White opened up about some of his plans for Zuffa Boxing.
It is no secret that White is planning on stepping into the world of boxing under the umbrella of UFC parent company WME-IMG, which is also home to the Zuffa brand. Speculation about the transition to boxing has been floating around since this summer when White first appeared in interviews wearing a “Zuffa Boxing” t-shirt, produced by Reebok.
White has confirmed that he will be promoting boxing and maintained an air of confidence as he spoke at the media luncheon hosted at the UFC Headquarters in Las Vegas.
UFC Fighters Crossing Over to Boxing
One of the questions that has been on the minds of fans and fighters is whether or not the UFC and Zuffa Boxing athlete roster will be interchangeable. There are a number of current UFC fighters who have boxing experience and have vocalized interest in putting on the big gloves.
When asked if he would be pulling from the UFC list of athletes, White replied, “No. I’m not thinking about that. I’m not saying it could never happen, but that’s not what I’m looking to do.” He also specified that UFC Champion Conor McGregor, who made his boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather Jr this summer, was included in that statement.
New Stars In Boxing
Making it clear that he would not be bringing over UFC fighters leaves the question on who will be appearing in the Zuffa Boxing ring.
White was questioned about the fact that when the UFC was purchased there were stars already in place. “Back then there weren’t big stars,” asserts White. “And in boxing right now who are the big stars? The huge stars? Most people don’t even know half these guys. Then you’ve got guys who are fighting for $10k for title fights and stuff like that. When people talk about, ‘oh boxing, and the money’ you’re talking about a handful of guys. And then there’s a whole roster full of guys who make nothing. None of them are stars.”
“You’ve got to start small and work your way up and build stars. I think we do a really good job at it and I think we can do it in boxing.”
Emphasis on Card Depth
White was asked if cards would be similar to the UFC format and he confirmed that they would and emphasized that having quality fights throughout the whole card is important.
Referring to the UFC 218 Card “There are fights all the way down on the UFC Fight Pass prelims (first few fights) that you want to see. You never get that in boxing.”
“Seats are empty until the main event starts,” asserts White, who also told reporters that he was guilty of that as well. The only fight he watched on the Mayweather v McGregor card was the main event.
What’s Next for Zuffa Boxing?
White asserts that he will be taking a whole month at the beginning of the year, to meet with various people in the boxing industry and figure out his plan. He also stated that he has a plan A and a plan B. He just has to figure out which to go with. 2018 may prove to be an interesting year for boxing.
Conor McGregor Rumored to Have Been in an Irish Bar Room Brawl with Gangster
By Bryanna Fissori
No, we can’t even make this stuff up. Well, maybe someone did, but it wasn’t us . . .
MMA Lightweight UFC Champion and 0-1 Pro Boxer Conor McGregor is doing and excellent job of living up to his “Notorious” nickname. The 29 year old has been at the forefront of combat sports media since the late spring when talk of him making a boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather first started to make headlines. The ebb and flow of the media frenzy that follows McGregor is still going strong, now surrounding a number of things including:
· Talks of increased pay for MMA fighters
· Potential boxing match ups
· Rumors of a rematch with Mayweather
· Pushing a referee during a Bellator MMA (another MMA promotion) fight card
· Crossover to WWE professional wrestling
· And most recently . . .
The Bar Room Brawl
Just days ago it was reported that McGregor was in a bar room brawl with some famous Irish gangsters. If you think this sounds like it should be an important scene out of an old-school boxing movie, we agree.
The Black Forge Inn in the Dublin suburb of Crumlin is where the fight was said to have taken place. Some claims have stated that the man assaulted by McGregor was the father of Kinahan lieutenant Graham “The Wig” Whelan. Whelan is one of the country’s most feared gangsters, though there are no specific stats on how many scary gangsters are in Ireland, but it appears that there are a number of them.
The unconfirmed reports that have surfaced across European media outlets claim that senior members of Ireland’s infamous Kinahan crime cartel are seeking retribution against McGregor for the incident.
Police in the area have been informed of the supposed incident, but since no actual reports have been made, there is nothing for them to do.
The Kinahan Crime Cartel and Boxing
The last time the Kinahan gang and McGregor were seen on the same headline is when reports surfaced that 59 members of the cartel were flying into Las Vegas, Nevada to watch McGregor’s boxing match against Mayweather. This excluded members who were still exiled or in hiding.
Ties to boxing are strong in the Kinahan gang. Daniel Kinahan, who is the grandson of cartel founder Christy Kinahan, has been a boxing promoter and manager for some time. The Marbella Gym, which was started by Daniel Kinahan is estimated to be home to 100 or so fighters. Early in 2017 Kinahan decided to take a backseat due to bad publicity and the gym has been rebranded under the name Mack The Knife (MTK).
The “bad publicity” stems heavily from a boxing weight-in event gone bad, when a rival gang showed up with AK47s to take out Kinahan members. There was only one death in the 2016 attack.
Irish fighter, Jamie “The Nuisance” Kavanagh (20-1) was present at that event, weighing in for a fight that would be canceled due to the incident.
The UFC Unconcerned with the McGregor Incident
“I don’t think it’s true,” said UFC President Dana White. “Because if it was true, it would be big. Conor can walk down the street and it’s big news now. If this were true, I just have to believe it would be off-the-charts crazy. If it’s true, we’ll end up finding out. I can’t chase all these things around. If it’s true, we’ll get it figured out and we’ll go from there.”
As far as the UFC is concerned, Conor’s next move should be focusing on a potential fight with interim lightweight champ Tony Ferguson, though there is no official confirmation on the next bout for McGregor.
McGregor Welcoming the Publicity
Though he has neither confirmed nor denied the bar room incident, McGregor did acknowledge it on his social media. Initial news reports claimed that a “celebrity” was involved in the fight. McGregor posted a silent video with his face partially covered by his jacket and simply labeled it “The Celebrity.” He has not made any other public comments referring to the event.
The UFC is 100% Getting Into Boxing
By Bryanna Fissori
From the Reebok manufactured “Zuffa Boxing” T-shirt to “I could see that happening,” to “We are 100 percent getting into boxing.”
UFC President Dana White is has masterfully kept fans and fighters on the edge of their seats waiting to see what the next move will be for the UFC. Rumors of a boxing promotion have been floating around since White first appeared at an interview wearing a shirt baring the logo “Zuffa Boxing.” Zuffa is a subsidiary of the UFC conglomerate and the former parent company of the promotion prior to the acquisition by WME-IMG last year.
“I’m not leaving the UFC. I’m getting into boxing with [WME-IMG head] Ari [Emanuel] and the UFC will be doing boxing, too,” White told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s still early. We’re still working on it. I’ve got to get my s**t together, but I’m getting into boxing, man. It’s coming.”
The UFC Brand
“I just know how good we are at what we do, and I know we’re better than pretty much everybody else out there,” White said. “I think that the guys who are involved in boxing, the fighters, would enjoy being under this umbrella and fighting for us, and yeah, I do think would could do it better than everybody else does.”
White commented that there is no “brand” in boxing. Everyone is out to make money without investing in the sport or thinking of the future. According to White, from a financial standpoint,
“. . . There’s no brand. There’s a bunch of cowboys. Every time there’s a boxing fight, it’s a going-out-of-business sale: ‘Let us get as much money as we can from everybody and let’s get the hell out of here.’ Right? That’s how boxing has always done business.”
There is no question that they UFC has done an amazing job in branding the organization and fighters underneath the promotion’s banner. For the general non-fan, the UFC is still a familiar acronym while Premier Boxing Championship, Top Rank or the like are much less likely to be recognized by the masses.
It is safe to say that even in the boxing industry, most competitive boxers could tell you what the UFC is, while many MMA fighters would be hard-pressed to list boxing promotions.
Well-Rounded Fight Cards
Making an entire fight-card engaging from top to bottom is another area where the UFC excels. Last weekend’s UFC 217 was one of the most exciting cards in recent history starting all the way from the bottom of the card on the UFC Fight Pass early preliminary fights to the Pay-per-view main event (Georges Saint-Pierre v Michael Bisping) at Madison Square Garden.
Boxing is known to have their cards stacked top heavy with lower payouts for earlier fights, corresponding heavily with anticipated lack of attendance and viewers for those bouts. There are generally not promoted with any significance and it is a given that most fans will show up or tune in specifically for just the main event.
“My job is to make sure every time you turn your TV off, you feel like you got your money’s worth,” said White. “I can’t guarantee [a single fight] is going to be the best you’ve ever seen. That’s why you have to stack the card and [ensure] everyone on that card makes money. … We spread the money around.”
The minimum amount that a UFC fighter is guaranteed is $10k to show up and $10k to win. More on this in BoxingInsider.com’s previous breakdown of the difference in fight purses here.
Playing Well with Others
The UFC is the top of the industry in MMA. Serious competition is minimal. In boxing the playing field is a bit more even and promoters are decently outspoken against each other. As the voice box for the UFC, White has not been known to hold back his thoughts. From an outside/fan perspective, this could make things interesting. Just in the short time White has been active in the boxing world he has delivered the clear message that boxing needs help. That message has not consistently been well received, especially by established industry professionals such as Bob Arum of Top Rank Boxing.
“The history of boxing … we all know boxing is broken,” said White. “The question is, how do you fix boxing?”
The Unknowns in Zuffa /UFC Boxing
• The Name:
So, the shirt said “Zuffa Boxing.” Zuffa is the former parent company of the UFC, but is now owned as part of the UFC conglomerate by WME-IMG. It may not be such a bad idea to deviate from the “UFC” name when promoting boxing in order to avoid confusion. This means that the company’s promotion could be titled “Zuffa Boxing.”
The name Zuffa is well known to the majority of MMA fighters already. And it is very plausible that the company could build the boxing promotion under that title.
• The In-House Potential
There is a lot of potential in-house talent that have already vocalized a desire to make the cross over to boxing. Some of these current UFC fighters include Jose Aldo, Stipe Miocic, Jimi Manuwa and Cris Cyborg. There are countless other UFC fighters and other Mixed Martial Artists across various promotions who have competed as boxers at some point in their careers (Holly Holm, Joe Duffy, KJ Noons, Vitor Belfort to name a few), but found MMA more profitable at the lower levels. With an option to climb the ranks in both sports, this could open up a lot of potential crossover. How that crossover would look will take a bit of effort from the contractual standpoint of the UFC’s legal team.
• How Soon is it Coming?
The UFC was not built in a day. The company is known for taking chances and trying new things, but there are licensing and regulatory hoops to jump through before WME-IMG can enter the world of boxing. The Conor McGregor boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. earlier this year was a baby step for the company to get their feet wet. It should still take some time to set all of the legal and regulatory aspects of boxing in place, obtain licensing, competitors and to learn the ropes (rather than the cage). Given the UFC’s ability to put the right people in the right places, mid next year would be reasonable, though White has surprised us before . . .
Will Dana White and the UFC be the Next Big Players in (Zuffa) Boxing?
By Bryanna Fissori
“I could see bringing boxing under our umbrella and trying to see what we could do with that. I could see doing that.”-UFC President Dana White.
As written about by BoxingInsider.com following Floyd Mayweather Jr fight versus UFC Champion Conor McGregor, there may be something to the “Zuffa Boxing” t-shirt adorned by White during pre-fight interviews.
Zuffa, LLC. sold the UFC to WME-ING last year, though the Zuffa brand is still heavily associated with the promotion.
White was interviewed on the Wall Street Journal’s “Unnamed Videopodcast,” where he was questioned about the possibility of a UFC crossover to boxing. Though vague in his response, White alluded to the fact that it could happen. His answer seemed to have been worded to imply that he had not given serious thought to the concept, but would Reebok already be selling “Zuffa Boxing” shirts if something were not something in the works?
Dana White and Boxing
Leaving the world of MMA for boxing does not seem to be on White’s agenda. “What people don’t understand is first of all, I’m still an owner,” White said. “I still have an ownership position in the UFC. And yeah, I signed a contract, but no contract can keep you anywhere. I could leave tomorrow if I wanted to. I obviously couldn’t go work for somebody else, but I could leave when I want to leave. I don’t want to leave.”
No stranger to the boxing world, White spent a lot of his early combat sports industry career in that sector. White trained in boxing, taught boxing and had his own boxing brand. The Mayweather / McGregor fight grossed in the neighborhood of $600 million. That is certainly enough to grab the attention of new UFC parent company WME-IMG, whose fairly recent acquisition of the company could mean a lot of changes to the structure and operations of the business. Who is to say one of these changes couldn’t include the addition of boxing under the UFC conglomerate.
It is common knowledge that there is a discrepancy between what MMA fighter and boxers are paid. The top purse reported in MMA has Ronda Rousey (UFC 207) and Conor McGregor (UFC 202) tied at $3million with Brock Lesnar (UFC 200) a fairly close second at $2.5 million. These payouts do not include Pay-per-view percentages or any other bonuses.
In contrast, the top for boxing is Floyd Mayweather Jr who took home $100 million just for his purse alone, against Conor McGregor. Mayweather does tend to be the exception, taking home far more than most other top-tier boxers. It is hard to take Mayweather out the equation when talking about top-paid boxers. Of the top seven grossing matches of all time, he was a participant in at least four.
When Manny Pacquiao fought Mayweather in 2015, the PacMan came home with $120 million. In September, the highly anticipated Miguel Canelo and Gennady Golovkin bout boasted a purse of $15 for each fighter, before the 60 percent PPV split. The PPV and other bonus can add millions on to each purse in the boxing industry.
That being said, the cream of the crop in boxing obviously grosses significantly more than its MMA counterparts. The bottom tier may be a different story. The UFC minimum purse for any card is $10k to show and $10k to win. Unlike most boxing promotions, purses are usually offered at a flat rate with a win bonus that equals the same amount. This provides added incentive for an athlete to preform to their highest potential. Some lower promotions like Victory Fighting Championship (broadcast on UFC Fight Pass) have been known to offer “finishing bonuses” to fighters who end the fight rather than letting it go to the judges.
In a stark contrast to the UFC minimum, the opening bout for the Mayweather/McGregor card did not even amount to $10k between the two fighters. This may also have to do with the fact that rounds were significantly shorter for Savannah Marshall ($5k) and Sydney LeBlanc ($3.5k). The first 12 round fight on the card was Andrew Tabiti ($100k) against Steve Cunningham ($100k).
The UFC minimum is not the industry standard. Bellator MMA may start an undercard fighter at $1,000 to show and $1,000 to win, while small regional promotions may be as low as $200 and $200. This is not unlike smaller boxing promotions.
Overall it can be said that top tier boxers currently have the opportunity to make significantly more than MMA fighters at the highest levels, while the pay is probably more even overall at the lower levels.
Competition With Other Promotions
In joining the boxing community, the UFC will have significantly more competition than the promotion is use to. This is unlikely to dissuade the UFC, given that they are very good at what they do and will undoubtedly be competitive in the current mix as far as the promotional aspect is concerned.
Some of the top competition in the boxing world include; Top Rank, Golden Boy, Premier Boxing Champions, K2 Promotions, Dibella, Mayweather Promotions (TMT), Roc Nation and the recent addition of the successful British promotion, Matchroom.
These promotions host their events across a number of high-profile broadcast networks such as HBO, Showtime, ESPN, CBS, NBC, Fox, FS1 and more. The UFC currently airs its “Fight Night” events, which are not PPV, on FS1. Premier Boxing Champions is the boxing promotion featured on FS1, which could mean someone would need to find a new network if the UFC started promoting boxing events frequently. This would be less likely in the immediate future as the UFC would probably start out with a few PPV events to test the waters.
Audience and Marketing Strategy
The UFC already has a huge audience in the MMA world. It is very likely that a good number of these fight fans would follow the promotion into the boxing arena. As evident in the Mayweather/McGregor fight, the UFC has the ability to reach a broad demographic.
With decades of steady promotions and marketing strategies, the UFC has already mastered the promotional aspects of creating a successful event. They do an incredible job of pre and post fight media, using an adequate but not overbearing amount of dramatization to draw fans in to the personalities of the competitors. Like any good TV show, movie or book, knowing the compelling backstory of an athlete inspires fans to feel more connect and more motivated to watch.
This type of professional and methodical approach to promotion may be what boxing needs to make a comeback in the U.S. where it is still less popular than in other regions.
Competition for Boxers
McGregor is not the only MMA competitor who has shown interest in boxing. There are a good number of athletes who already compete in both sports. UFC athletes Jose Aldo, Stipe Miocic, Jimi Manuwa and Cris Cyborg have already voiced interest in wanting to box. If allowed to compete in the ring, those names would undoubtedly draw a crowd.
The hang up on which promotions boxers compete for could potentially ride on the payout, which it should. No one is looking to get punched in the face for free. As extensively discussed earlier, the high-end payouts for the UFC are still significantly less than that for top boxers. The UFC may find that they have to cough up more to compete for athletes in the industry. Depending on the PPV and gate numbers, this may be worth it, as many large boxing cards have draw a much bigger crowd and PPV turn-out than UFC cards.
Top Rank Boxing Promoter Bob Arum has been very vocal in his opinion that the UFC is considering getting to boxing because of low PPV numbers. “My thoughts are that UFC is desperate. Their numbers are way off, they have no marquee star,” Arum said in an interview with NYFights.com. “Look at their PPV numbers. They barely break 100,000 homes on their shows. They’re having trouble getting renewal on their contract with FOX. They have to do something. One of things they may try and fall back on and try and acquire a boxing presence.”
Arum, who typically has a lot to say when it comes to the UFC and Dana White, has also made comments about the amount the UFC pays their fighters in comparison to boxing. In a 2011 interview he was quoted as saying, “I don’t know where Dana is coming from, I never said anything bad about him. But Dana has to realize, because of the monopoly the UFC has, they pay their fighters maybe 20-percent of the proceeds that come in on a UFC fight and we pay fighters over 80-percent. So that’s the difference, so talk about giving back to the sport, when you pay your talent 20-percent and boxing promoter’s like myself and others pay over 80-percent, who’s giving back to whom? It’s very easy (to make network deals) when his athletes get paid nothing. Our athletes get paid.”
The other question is whether or not the UFC would put their boxers on an official roster with the same ancillary rights agreement that their MMA fighters are subject to. This could also make a difference in the caliber of athlete they acquire.
UFC Easing in to the Boxing World
About this same time last year Arum told media outlets that he met with Ari Emanuel (owner of UFC parent company WME-IMG) who was interested in purchasing Top Rank’s fight library for $100 million, which includes iconic fights such as 1975’s “Thirlla in Manilla” between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Though the conversation did not go anywhere, the library would have been an addition to the extensive classic fights available on UFC Fight Pass and a soft introduction into boxing for UFC fans. A long-term deal with ESPN has since been inked for rights to the library.
In the recent interview with NYFights.com Arum stated that he was contacted last year by someone in the UFC wanting to purchase Top Rank. It was unclear if Arum was referring to the entire promotion or the previously mentioned attempt to purchase the library. The UFC is know for successful acquisition of other promotions, though up to this point they have all been MMA only promotions.
Allowing McGregor to compete in boxing earlier this year granted the UFC businessmen and fans to acquire a taste for boxing without shoving it down their throats. This has sparked obvious interest from fighters and there are a lot of MMA fighters out there with great hands who could be fun to watch.
The Future of UFC Boxing
Will we see a UFC boxing card in the near future? Overall it makes a good deal of since. The UFC already knows the formula for success in combat sports. The company has already gotten its feet wet. Fighters and fans are watching anxiously to see what the UFC’s next move will be.
Floyd Mayweather’s Return? Don’t call it a comeback…
By: Kirk Jackson
“Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years,” famous lyrics recited from the Hip-Hop legend LL Cool J from his number-one single Mama Said Knock You Out can certainly apply to a recent scenario featuring the retired/semi-retired Floyd Mayweather.
In recent weeks, the eventual Hall of Famer posted videos to his social media sites featuring short snippets of training.
In the video, Mayweather is rigorously punching the heavy bag and participating in other boxing-fight related activities across other video footage. The question is why? What is his intent? Is he teasing for yet another comeback and if so, against who?
Notorious Mayweather criticizer and HBO boxing analyst Jim Lampley, suggests Mayweather intends to fight Conor McGregor one more time.
“Why else is he putting out videos of him working out?” Lampley said to a TMZ reporter. “He allowed Conor McGregor to ‘win’ three rounds. Why did the whole thing last 10 rounds, etc.? It’s all a setup.”
Lampley of course is referencing when the undefeated former boxing champion Mayweather defeated the current UFC lightweight champion McGregor via TKO in the 10th round Aug. 26 in Las Vegas.
“Why should he retire?” Lampley said. “He created a marvelous scam with this whole thing. He allowed Conor to quote ‘win’ three rounds, so the whole global MMA wish community could have something to latch onto.”
“I think there’s a decent chance, there’s enough suckers out there, Floyd could maybe make another $150 million.”
No matter how the fight played out at the very least, the event was a financial success. Although the official numbers have yet to release, UFC President Dana White has celebrated the fiscal achievements of the circus that was.
“The thing ended up doing 6.7 million pay-per-view buys globally,” said White on The Unnamed Podvideocast. “How about this, we broke the record in Australia, we broke the record in the U.K. at four in the morning. We broke the record in Spain, Canada and the United States.”
It’s estimated the fight generated around $670 million in PPV revenue alone, leaving Mayweather with the lion’s share of the profit, providing Mayweather with incentive to run this lap yet again as Lampley suggested.
For McGregor’s part, he probably wouldn’t mind getting another crack at Mayweather.
For one, he will not receive criticism for losing to Mayweather; even though he back-peddled from the smaller, older, frail, fighter most of the fight.
He’ll continue to make excuses and escape criticism.
Of course there’s also financial incentive. Why return to the Octagon for peanuts (comparatively to boxing) when you can earn when you can earn multiple millions more in the boxing ring against one of the highest all-time grossing athletes across any sport?
As for the fight itself, the proposed rematch between Mayweather and McGregor and the excitement factor for most boxing fans will more than likely be non-existent.
For viewers possessing a greater understanding of boxing semantics, many could see what Mayweather was doing and how the fight was going to turn out. Lampley even mentioned it.
Mayweather toyed with McGregor, intentionally conceded rounds to sell/carry the fight and there isn’t much McGregor could do in a rematch that could change the outcome.
For those latching on to hope a rematch will be different, keep this mind. McGregor is a talented fighter and is exceptional within his realm of fighting.
McGregor is a good athlete and with time and proper training, could potentially develop into a good boxer.
But boxing is not an art mastered over the course of a few months. Boxing takes years to master and Mayweather is one of the grandeurs of the sport.
The initial fight promotion was based on racial propaganda and viewed by many people invested in that drama; the rematch may potentially feature some of the viewers from the same crowd.
If Mayweather isn’t training for a McGregor rematch, who is he training for? Is it current middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin? Or former two-division champion Danny Garcia?
The interview was conducted roughly a year ago and the options mentioned may no longer hold much merit.
Garcia is rumored to face Brandon Rios towards the end of the year and if he emerges victorious who knows what is footing will be in the convoluted welterweight championship picture. Although a bout with Mayweather promptly trumps any other option.
There was a stipulation for Mayweather regarding a bout with Golovkin but due to Andre Ward’s recent retirement, combined with Golovkin performance against former Mayweather adversary Canelo Alvarez, there could be a slim opening for the fighter referred to as “Triple G.”
At the age of 35, Golovkin is slowly but surely transforming into a household name with his last bout reaching nearly one million Pay-per-view buys.
He’s undefeated, a long time champion and regarded by many as a feared knock-out artist; that’s enough of a storyline to sell a potential fight against Mayweather.
There’s also another fighter knocking on Mayweather’s door asking for a fight with the retired champion.
In any fight I’ve never been out boxed. Mayweather khan fight would be a game of chess. Speed movement and accuracy will cause him problems
— Amir Khan (@amirkingkhan) October 23, 2017
Although it’d be hard-pressed to find anyone outside of Amir Khan’s family who wants to see a bout between Khan and Mayweather.
At this point, it’s purely speculation whether Mayweather will return to the ring as a fighter in the
The question remains why post training footage unless there is a plan in motion?
Mayweather may keep us guessing until he’s ready to reveal his move; just as he does to opponents inside the boxing ring.
Boxing Insider Interview with Bryanna Fissori: Transitioning From MMA to Boxing
By: William Holmes
Bryanna Fissori has been writing for boxing insider for several years and also competes professionally in MMA. She has recently decided to follow the footsteps of other MMA fighters that have recently to test their skills in a boxing ring instead of an MMA cage.
We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Bryanna and get her thoughts on her transition to boxing as well as her upcoming fight.
Boxing Insider (BI): What made you decide to try boxing?
Bryanna Fissori (BF): I’ve been around the boxing industry a lot through my ties to MMA and it’s a great opportunity for me to focus on my hands. It’s a no lose situation.
BI: What’s your experience in the sport?
BF: I’ve been training in boxing specifically for several years through Palolo Boxing in Hawaii with Coach Joel Kim. I tried to get a match as an amateur but it is hard to find opponents on the island.
BI: How has training been different in comparison to mma?
BF: Stand up cardio is much different than ground cardio. There are three distancing ranges in MMA: kicking, grappling and punching. For boxing, I have to be able to focus on staying in or out of punching range the whole bout. That is a lot different.
BI: Do you have a newfound appreciation for boxing?
BF:I have a serious appreciation for people who compete and train as boxers. It’s a beautiful sport and I never thought I would be a boxer. . . But I am!
BI: Do you see a difference in fight purses?
BF: There is a lot of opportunity to make more money in boxing even at the smaller shows. I think it is just the mentality of the sport. That being said, ticket sales are ticket sales and a lot of that will always depend on where the fight is and who you know. I have several people who prefer watching MMA so they won’t be attending the boxing fight and even some who don’t consider boxing a “fight” because they are accustom to MMA, but that is not the opinion of the masses.
BI: What do you know about your opponent?
BF: Julie is someone who everyone likes. She’s the hometown hero, but being from a small island, I’m use to fighting the hometown hero. I’m sure we will be friends after the fight. She is also an MMA fighter, but I believe she has more stand-up experience than I do, but that’s ok. She may be from Topeka, but I’m going to own that ring.
BI: How have you approached your training to beat her?
BF: I’ve been working had on all aspects of my stand up training and it will show in the fight. I not big on giving away my game plan, but if you are in the Midwest I encourage you to come watch me execute it!
BI: Do you see yourself fighting in more boxing matches?
BF: I have enjoyed this boxing camp and I could definitely see myself doing it again.
BI: Have you enjoyed the experience so far?
BF: This has been a crazy camp for me because I have done a lot of traveling, but that being said I have also got to have a bunch of great coaches. I’ve trained for this fight with my head coach Guy Orogo in Honolulu, Rich de Los Reyes at the Mango Tree and Joel Kim at Palolo Boxing. I also got it time with Coach Jay Pietz and Kurt Weinrich at StandAlone MMA in Chico, California and here in Topeka, Kansas I have been training and will be cornered by Shanon Woodward at Midwest Combat Academy and Damon Reed.
BI: Anything else you want your fans to know?
BF:I am really excited for this bout. I feel great. I want to shout out to my teammate Tina Garcia in Honolulu who competes in her first MMA bout on the same night I make my boxing debut. She will be fighting on the Trinity Kings promotion on Oahu.
I also want to thank all of my amazing sponsors and fans for making this possible: STEEM Caffeinated Peanut Butter, Midwest Float, Emeralds Massage and Bodywork, Carver Consulting and Resource Management, S2ActiveWear, Jayhawk Bodywork, Nature’s Paradise/ Solo Weight Cuts, Defense Soap, Rockstar Detailing and Title Boxing.
Last but not least, there is no way I could do this without encouragement from above. I could never have imagined this amazing life for myself. I started fighting because I moved to Honolulu and knew NO ONE. I answered a Craigslist ad for sparring partners. Now I perform professionally on some of the biggest stages in combat sports across multiple disciplines. I am truly blessed.
I hope everyone is ready for this. It’s Morphin’ Time!
Mayweather-McGregor Generates $55 Million in Ticket Sales
By Jake Donovan
It didn’t turn out to be the record-breaking event that event handlers optimistically anticipated, but Floyd Mayweather once again validated his “Money” nickname with his latest ring return.
Photo Credit: USA Today
The unbeaten former five division world champion and pound-for-pound king cemented his place as the most lucrative one-man show in boxing history. His 10th round knockout of Conor McGregor on August 26 pulled in a live gate of $55,414,865.79 from 13,049 tickets sold at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to figures released Wednesday afternoon by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The final tally falls well short of the all-time record—also owned by Mayweather, whose May ’15 12-round win over Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas generated north of $72 million—but is still a solid number two on the list of biggest live gates in the history of Nevada boxing. In fact, Mayweather has now participated in six of the seven best-selling boxing events in Las Vegas, including five of the final six fights of his storied career.
Fight night attendance was initially announced at 14,623—a figure which, even if accurate, falls well short of the 20,500 seat-capacity that T-Mobile Arena can hold for a boxing event.
According to the breakdown from the NSAC, there were 13,094 tickets sold with 137 seats comped, leaving a gap of roughly 1,500 tickets. The average price for event tickets sold was $4,232, with prices ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.
The amount of tickets sold is the second lowest among Mayweather’s 12 fights on Nevada’s list of highest grossing events, landing just ahead of his last bout – a 12-round win over Andre Berto in Sept. ’15, of which a $10,062,500 live gate was generated from the 12,947 tickets sold for what at the time was advertised as his last-ever fight.
Mayweather’s last 12 fights are all within the 26 highest grossing boxing events to take place in Las Vegas, including 10 that cracked the $10 million mark. The dozen fights make for more than $258 million in ticket sales, nearly equal to that of the combined total of the 23 remaining events on Nevada’s Top 35 list.
Mayweather (50-0, 27KOs) ended a near two-year hiatus from the ring for a one-time return to face McGregor (0-1), a two-division world champion in UFC but whom was making his pro debut. The knockout was his first since a 4th round stoppage of Victor Ortiz in Sept. 11, having scored just three stoppages in his final 15 career fights.
After the fight, the 40-year old future Hall of Famer insisted this event was a one-time break from what he promises to be a permanent retirement. He remains active in the sport, in fact with his Mayweather Promotions serving as the lead for a Showtime boxing telecast this Friday in Las Vegas headlined by a super middleweight title fight between David Benavidez and Ronald Gavril, the latter whom he promotes.
Final Pay-Per-View figures have yet to be released, although Showtime—whom produced and distributed the August 26 event—teased just prior to Labor Day of the show having cracked 4 million units sold. Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president of Showtime Sports hinted that the event could very well wind up breaking the all-time mark of $400 million in PPV revenue from 4.6 million units sold by Mayweather-Pacquiao, although industry sources suggest that it will ultimately fall just short.
Regardless, it winds up no worse than the second-best selling PPV event and live gate of all time, with Mayweather generating upwards of $800 million in PPV sales and more than $127 million in ticket sales—two figures that just about ever other boxer in history can only dream to boast for an entire career.