During the unveiling of the UFC Apex facility on Tuesday, White once again talked about these said plans more elaborately. Ultimately, he believes there is much more that can be done to help boost the sport’s status back to its glory years’ decades ago.
“If you look at the way that it was in the 80s, 90s, even the early 2000s, you had [a few] guys that were [making money],” White said (transcript by BJPenn.com). “You had Floyd [Mayweather], you had [Manny] Pacquiao, [Oscar] Del La Hoya, maybe a couple other guys.
“But boxing as a whole, you’re talking about tons of fighters that weren’t making big money and weren’t in big fights. I think that the sport could be so much more.”
White intends to use the same strategy when he along with the Fertitta brothers saved the UFC from demise in the early 2000’s.
“If you look at what [the UFC has] built over the last 20 years, and our events, and how many events we’re doing — we’re doing 42 events a year,” he said. “Every time you go to one of our events, they’re either sold out or they break the record for ticket sales. This year we’re going to break the record for ticket sales, ever, in UFC history.
“There are more tickets being sold this year than ever before in the history of the company. We continue to put on these fights, people come and see them. They’re on TV, free, they’re on ESPN, which everybody has. And we’re still doing million-dollar gates on these things without the Mayweathers and those types of fights.
“You could build a business [like that] with boxing — build a real business,” he added. “You’ve just got to break it and rebuild it.”
White initially intended to have Zuffa Boxing be its own entity, free from any ties with sanctioning bodies such as the WBO, IBF, and WBC. Although when asked about how he’d handle boxing’s belt system, he said he didn’t know yet.