Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao recently claimed that he’d had preliminary negotiations with Conor McGregor regarding a potential boxing match in April of next year, but UFC President Dana White has since moved quickly to pour cold water on the situation.
“That would be weird because he’s under contract with us,” White said following UFC Fight Night 123 on Saturday night. “If that’s true, I will be suing Manny Pacquiao and whoever’s representing him, so I’m assuming that’s not true.”
Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum also spoke about Pacquiao’s claims at the weekend, indicating that there hasn’t been any sign of progress in recent months.
“Is it true that Pacquiao reached out to McGregor? Yes, but it’s old news,” Arum said.
“I would do it for Manny but for me, if I promoted that fight, I would tell everybody up front, ‘Guess what, it’s not a f**king fight. If you want a spectacle, you can watch it.’”
Arum also gave his reaction to White’s confirmation last month that he intends to make moves into the boxing market in 2018 under the Zuffa banner.
“Who gives a s**t about White?” Arum said. “He’s a piece of crap. It’s an acknowledgment how strong boxing is that he has a UFC that’s cratering and he needs boxing to save himself.
“For me, that would be great. If Dana White started promoting boxing it would be terrific because it would show what we have now proven, that boxing is not an old man’s sport, that our demographics are young. We’ve been up against them twice and we’re up against them now for the third time but a level playing field, free television ESPN and free television FS1, and when it’s free . . . and we’ve got a level playing field, we beat the pants off them.”
As you might expect, White was quick to respond when he learned of Arum’s comments.
“We’ll see Bob,” Whited said. “We’ll see at the end. Bob’s the same guy that said that the UFC would never work and the UFC was losing ‘oodles’ of money, whatever the f**k that means. I don’t know what ‘oodles of money’ means. Look at what we’ve done and look at where we are. Come on.
“At the end of the day, we’ll see who stands where when the smoke clears and the dust settles. I’ll give it to him though, for a f**king 95-year-old dude, this guy’s still pretty feisty. I’ll give him that. I’m impressed.”