Dana White has been a fan of or around boxing in one form or another for much of his life. That’s what makes his decision to launch a reality show around the sport of boxing anything but a surprise, even with his role as UFC president. “The Fighters” kicks off Thursday night on the Discovery Channel and features South Boston boxers in a tournament.
When speaking with Fox Sports, White didn’t rule out the possibility that somewhere in his life he may want to promote boxing:
White sounds excited about getting back into the sweet science. Does that mean he could be promoting boxing events some time soon, too? He wouldn’t rule it out.
“I’ve always got the boxing itch,” White said. “I’m a boxing guy at heart. I’m always going to be that guy. How deep would I get? Let’s see how far this thing goes.”
It’s a disaster of an idea. Where the UFC has all the leverage in the world to run things the way they do, the boxing game is dominated by a far more ridiculous set-up with established rivalries and the need to pay more than the UFC pays for a year’s worth of cards to put on a “landscape changing” event. And Dana isn’t the kind of guy who I could see being content getting into boxing and being the fifth or sixth biggest promoter (if he’s lucky) in the game.
It’ll be interesting to see what The Fighters is able to do, given that The Contender was a compelling concept but only showed a clipped fight each week that was cut in an overly dramatic fashion, really ruining the payoff of each episode.
The Ultimate Fighter really gained a lot from showing complete fights in a minimally edited way, along with focusing on the personalities of the fighters. So Dana isn’t unaware of what makes fighting reality shows successful.
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