Dana White was on hand this past weekend for the Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley boxing event in Las Vegas and MMAJunkie.com was able to catch up with the UFC President and talked boxing, MMA, and fight fans:
"I think boxing and the UFC can coexist," said UFC president Dana White who was among the sellout crowd. "I_m a big fight fan. When there_s a good boxing match, I want to see it."
"We don_t look at it like we_re in competition. People who are real fight fans are f------ fight fans, whether it_s MMA or it_s boxing."
The other seven bouts on the Pacquiao vs. Mosley essentially were meaningless to the boxing fans. When lightweight Karl Dargan kicked off the fight card with a decision win over Randy Arrellin. The bout bout was witnessed by no more than a few dozen family members and friends.
While not always full from the opening bell, the UFC consistently scores at least a few thousand people for the first fight of the night. In newer markets, the venues often are close to capacity for the first preliminary-card bout.
"It_s because all the fights are good," White said. "You can_t say you_ve never had a moment where we_ve got a fight going on and you say, _S---, that Nate Diaz fight goes off at 5:30. I_ve got to be there for that fight._ There_s so many good fights on the card, and you want to see them.
"The thing is with boxing that_s different than us, they don_t market their preliminary-card fighters. They don_t promote the undercard."
"I think we_ve gotten to a place now where we_ve gained respect from people ... We_re in a place now where we_re a major sports league, and people respect us. Are we bigger than boxing? Are we bigger than something else? Listen, in the next 10 years, it_s common sense.
"Right now, we_re in a half-billion homes worldwide. We_ll be in over a billion homes worldwide in the next few months. What_s that going to do over the next 10 years? It_s going to be a massive, huge sport. I always talk about the troubles boxing has. Boxing has a lot of problems and a lot of trouble. But whenever there_s a big fight, and it happens, I_ll be there to watch."
"The last time I went to the Pacquiao fight in Dallas, I tweeted that I was going to watch Pacquiao. I_ve got Pacquiao f------ tennis shoes. I_ve worn Pacquiao jackets. You_ve never seen me be afraid to promote boxing. I love watching Pacquiao fight.
"Boxing is a fun sport. When the right guys are fighting, you_re going to want to watch it. When boxing has exciting fighters, boxing will do well."