Bob Arum and Dana White are, to put it mildly, not friends.
The two promoters have never shied away from their dislike for the other over the years, with the pair throwing repeated barbs through the media. While that had appeared to simmer away for the recent past, it seems White’s interest in moving into boxing — Arum’s turf — could bring it all back to the boil.
Earlier this year, White announced he’d be following through with previous assertions that he wanted to enter the sport of boxing, and says that come October, we will have a definitive plan as to what his vision to change things will look like.
According to Arum, that’s all well and good, but there are fundamental differences between mixed martial arts and boxing that White simply can’t overcome. Namely, the Muhammad Ali Act.
“Let him see how it is to work under the Muhammad Ali Act, and hopefully he’ll put all his UFC fighters subject to that act,” Arum said, speaking with Fight Hub TV. “It’s a federal statute that protects fighters and managers from promoters. One thing I’m sure is gonna happen is they’ll be a lot of pressure on him now to get rid of those lobbyists for the UFC who are in Washington who are preventing the Muhammad Ali Act from taking effect in Mixed Martial Arts.”
The Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act was passed into law in 2000 in an attempt to protect fighters from, amongst other things, managers holding them contractually hostage and stopping them from earning money elsewhere. It also forces promoters to disclose fighter pay and income made.
So far, it’s yet to be brought to mixed martial arts.
“Then there shouldn’t be a problem being under the Muhammad Ali Act [if White wasn’t to act as a fighter manager]. But you gotta make disclosures and all of that. Believe me, Dana can’t operate under the Muhammad Ali Act,” Arum said.
Of course, Arum wasn’t going to let White’s name get mentioned without throwing a few shots at his old rival too.
“If he gets licensed, why shouldn’t he come?” Arum said. “The UFC, he should really watch his own business because the UFC pay-per-view numbers have disappeared. They’re nothing. Nobody is tuning in anymore. That’s what he should be concentrating on rather than going into another sport.
“Because they’re not sticking to the business. They’re just not doing the job they should do.”