August 9, 2018
August 9, 2018
terence crawford

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

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FOR a brief moment it appeared Zuffa Boxing, the brainchild of UFC President Dana White, was going to take over the boxing world.

There was talk of Anthony Joshua and a $500 million offer. There was talk of Mikey Garcia and a whole host of US-based talents joining the party. There was talk of White showing the boxing dinosaurs how it’s done. There was even talk of Zuffa Boxing ignoring sanctioning bodies and operating within the parameters of its own league, in a style not too dissimilar to the UFC.

But then came the reality of the situation. The frustration. The truth. Now, a year on from Conor McGregor’s Las Vegas boxing lesson with Floyd Mayweather, White and Zuffa Boxing still await their first signing, and have yet to show any signs of hosting an event.

“This is one of those things I said I’m going to put my toe in; I’m not diving in head first,” White said in an interview with Jim Norton and Matt Serra on the UFC Unfiltered podcast. “We’re still working on stuff.

“A lot of things didn’t line up the way I thought they would in the boxing world, when I said we’re about to make a ballsy move,” he continued. “The thing kind of took a left turn, so I wasn’t able to make an offer on that deal yet. But when that deal does happen, and when it comes, I’m going to jump in.”

Back in May, it appeared White and Garcia were close to agreeing a deal that would have seen the current WBC and IBF lightweight champion spearhead Zuffa Boxing. Two weeks later, however, Eddie Hearn shook up the landscape with the announcement of a US rights agreement with DAZN, complete with an annual rights fee of $125 million. He’d also been interested in Garcia. Chances are, he still is.

The crux of it, then, is this: unlike in the world of mixed martial arts, a domain in which White’s power reigns supreme, things are a tad more complex, chaotic and competitive in boxing. Folk might not do it as well as White and the UFC – promoting, that is – but many have been doing it for longer.

Dana White


Terence Crawford is one American I’m sure Dana White would love to add to his stable of none.

The gifted Omaha switch-hitter rounded up every one of the world titles as a super-lightweight and is now looking to do the same as a welterweight. The first belt, Jeff Horn’s WBO version, was added to the Crawford collection in June, and it would seem the WBC version, soon to be contested by Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter, could be next.

Crawford, 33-0 (24), normally as laid-back and smooth as his fighting style, came out firing on social media this morning, accusing Garcia, the favourite to win the WBC crown, of avoiding tough challenges throughout his career and essentially being handed world titles along the way.

It could mean nothing, of course. It could just be a case of ‘Bud’ Crawford needing to vent; wanting to get things off his chest. But maybe, just maybe, it’s the start of something and we’ll soon see Crawford and Garcia settle their differences in the ring with a couple of welterweight titles on the line.

Danny Garcia


And finally… Billy Joe Saunders and Demetrius Andrade have a date for their WBO world middleweight title showdown. The date is October 20, and the venue will be the TD Garden in Boston, USA.

The choice of Boston marks the second consecutive away fixture for Saunders, following a successful defence against Canadian David Lemieux in Quebec last December, and means Andrade, a native of Providence, Rhode Island, will be boxing roughly 50 miles from home.

Whether this has any bearing on the result of the fight remains to be seen, but Saunders certainly had no qualms about travelling to Lemieux’s back yard last year, nor did the hostile environment seem to adversely affect his performance.

If anything, Saunders, 26-0 (12), appeared energised by the challenge and, in winning every one of the 12 rounds they shared, produced arguably the best performance of his pro career to date.

Andrade, of course, a former WBA and WBO champion at super-welterweight, represents a far greater test of Saunders’ ability to hold it together away from home. Undefeated in 25 pro fights, the man known as ‘Boo Boo’ has seemingly been earmarked as something of a poster boy for Matchroom Boxing USA and DAZN, and will no doubt be eager to ensure Saunders leaves America empty-handed on October 20.

Tyson Fury