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Arum dismisses Pacquiao-McGregor talk and 'welcomes' Dana White to boxing

‘Dana White has a UFC that’s cratering, and he needs boxing to save himself!’ claims Bob Arum.

Image: AAP/PA Images

TOP RANK FOUNDER and CEO Bob Arum has dismissed a purported fight between his charge Manny Pacquiao and the UFC’s Conor McGregor, and welcomed UFC president Dana White to boxing promotion in typically unrefined fashion.

Eight-division champion Pacquiao claimed last week that preliminary talks had taken place regarding a possible bout between he and McGregor, the latter of whom was stopped by Floyd Mayweather on his boxing debut back in August.

Arum, however, who has promoted Pacquaio for over 15 years, has confirmed that there are currently no talks going on between both parties.

“It’s total nonsense,” said the American promoter. “If there is such a fight, Pacquiao or any other boxer would give McGregor a beating. But there are no negotiations right now. McGregor is still spending the money that he earned from the fight with Mayweather.”

He elaborated on the topic while in conversation with Michael Woods for Bad Left Hook on Sunday, indicating that someone from Pacquiao’s team had indeed reached out to the Notorious two-weight UFC champion, but dismissing the idea in a similar fashion to how he did Mayweather-McGregor.

“It’s old news!” Arum said.

Guess what… It’s not a fucking fight. If you want a spectacle, you can watch it. One thing you can be sure of, Manny wouldn’t carry the guy like the other guy [Mayweather] did.

PACQUIAO HORN FIGHT PRESSER Source: AAP/PA Images

Arum also told BLH that he welcomed Dana White’s Zuffa Boxing venture because it proves boxing is “not an old man’s sport”, adding: “Our demos are young. When it’s free, a lot of kids don’t have premium television because they can’t afford $15 a month, so when we have a level paying field we beat the pants off them [the UFC]. Not just overall rating, but the demos that everyone is looking for.”

After a vintage comeback year for pugilism, Arum cited ESPN’s figures in laying waste to the narrative that boxing was a thing of the past: “It turns out in the light of day to be total bullshit.”

However, after initially welcoming old foe White to the world of boxing promotion, Arum continued: “Who gives a shit about White? He’s a piece of crap!”

The 86-year-old then said he was only glad to see White involved in boxing “because then it’s an acknowledgement how strong boxing is. He [White] has a UFC that’s cratering, and he needs boxing to save himself!”

The UFC president has hit back in an interview with MMA Junkie, responding to Arum’s ‘welcome’: “You’ll see, Bob. We’ll see at the end.

White continued:

Bob’s the same guy who said the UFC would never work, and the UFC was losing ‘oodles’ of money, whatever the fuck ‘oodles of money’ means. Look at what we’ve done and look at where we are. I mean, come on. At the end of the day, we’ll see who stands where when the smoke clears and the dust settles.

“I’ll give it to him, though. For a fucking 95-year-old dude, this guy’s pretty feisty, man. I’ll give it to him. I’ll give him that.”

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

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