Bob Arum bashes Dana White for trying to run UFC show amid coronavirus crisis
With boxing on hold, legendary promoter Bob Arum took a swing at Dana White and the UFC.
While Arum declines to schedule any bouts during the COVID-19 pandemic, the 88-year-old Top Rank founder is aghast at White’s plans to hold his UFC 249 card on April 18, which would likely take place without scheduled headliner/lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is currently unable to leave Russia due to travel restrictions.
“[White] ought to be ashamed of himself,” Arum said on CBS Sports’ “State of Combat” podcast. “What’s going on in this country and the world with this virus, the last thing we need is for an event to take place with no spectators just to get the event to take place. But the truth is Dana White is somebody with a flawed intelligence.
“He’s not going to move forward with the card, and if the card happens with people dying in hospitals all over the United States, he ought to be ashamed of himself. The message should be stay home and stand down until this is over. Let’s not spread the virus, let’s control the virus and do what we can to staff these hospitals and take care of people who go into intensive care.
“Let’s all be big people and big boys about it and stop the grandstanding. This will end when it ends, and it will end quicker if we all stick together and do what we are supposed to do, not go and shout from the rafters that, ‘I’m not a p—y and I’m going to put this fight on. I don’t care.’ That is absolutely the wrong message to send.”
Dozens of boxing matches have been cancelled or postponed in the past month and Arum isn’t sure when he’ll resume discussions regarding bouts for future dates.
“People ask me what plans I’m making for these fights when we will get the all clear. Because I don’t know when the all clear is going to be and I have no idea whether it will be two months, three months or even the rest of the year, I’m not making any plans right now,” Arum said. “When this thing looks like it’s clearing up, we will start making plans.”
When boxing comes back, Arum is confident White will have little success in it, via the UFC president’s spinoff company, Zuffa Boxing.
“Dana has been a good promoter for UFC, but UFC is a monopoly,” Arum said. “He tells the fighters who they are going to fight and when they are going to fight, and he pays them very little against what professional boxers get. So he’s a monopolist, and it’s not easy for a monopolist to go into a sport like boxing, which is anti-monopolist.
“We have very little barriers of entry [in boxing] and we have a lot of promoters. Everybody is looking to promote for the best way that they can for themselves. Dana White could not exist in that type of milieu. He can only exist in an avenue where he is the dominant monopolistic person; where he is manager, promoter, rules maker for the participants, everything.”
Source : Howie Kussoy Link