When Dana White and the Fertitta brothers bought the UFC in 2001, mixed martial arts was a mess. Now it is the world's fastest growing sport, and the UFC is the world's most valuable sports franchise.
Now it is boxing that suffers, at all but the very highest levels. And Dana White, a former amateur boxer and pro manager, wants to do something about it.
In partnership with TUF and Survivor producer Craig Piligian, White created "The Fighters," an eight-part boxing series that premieres Thursday (9 p.m. ET) on Discovery Channel. The show has a tournament format with fights every week, but differs from TUF in that there is a greater emphasis on character. And the South Boston boxing world is well and truly full of characters, including storied trainer Peter Welch.
“I’m in,” White told FOX Sports “I don’t do anything half-assed. I want to win. I want this thing to be great.”
“If it wasn’t for Peter and the sport of boxing, I wouldn’t be where I am today."
“There is nothing but f---ing characters in boxing… Boston is an exciting place for this. The accent alone speaks boxing. It’s a very unique, interesting world and this is a look into it.”
“I don't want to see the sport of boxing die. This is my contribution to the sport I love.”
White won't even rule out an entry into promoting boxing.
“I’ve always got the boxing itch,” said White. “I’m a boxing guy at heart. I’m always going to be that guy. How deep would I get? Let’s see how far this thing goes.”
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