UFC president Dana White aimed to have Zuffa Boxing formally off the ground by October, but we’re well into December with nothing to report.
What’s caused the delay? Well, let’s just say that Dana is pretty tight-lipped on the specific details.
In a pre-UFC 245 interview with Yahoo’s Kevin Iole (video at the top of the page), White promised that Zuffa Boxing is coming along, but they’re dealing with some challenges.
“Like in all businesses, there’s potholes in the road and speed bumps that you have to deal with,” White said. “I’m still dealing with that stuff. Once I get all my ducks in a row, I will announce [Zuffa Boxing].
“We’ll do a press conference and we’ll get this whole thing rolling.”
As far as what those “speed bumps” entail, there was no elaboration on his part. These apparent difficulties with Zuffa Boxing have gone on since at least last August, when he admitted that “a lot of things didn’t line up the way that I thought they would in the boxing world, when I said we’re about to make a ballsy move.”
White has already declared that he won’t work with major sanctioning bodies (WBO, IBF, WBC, WBA) and that they’ll form their own league, and he’s stated no interest in working with promoters Bob Arum and Oscar De La Hoya, as well as Showtime Boxing.
Speaking of Arum, Top Rank Boxing has an exclusive boxing contract with ESPN, but White told Iole that ESPN is actually receptive to the idea of Zuffa Boxing.
“I think that ESPN has been excited about the fact that we might get into boxing,” White said. “They’re excited about it and they’ve been very positive and supportive.”
In the meantime, we keep on waiting until Zuffa Boxing turns into more than just a concept.