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Dana White To Enter The World Of Professional Boxing?

Dana White Has Made Anthony Joshua An Offer, But Will He Listen

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By Aaron Cooper

Anthony Joshua is rarely out of the headlines of all boxing news outlets, and understandably so. He is after all a World Heavyweight Champion and holds two of the four championships from the major governing bodies. You could be forgiven for thinking any news of the Olympic Gold Medalist would be related to an upcoming fight. After all, he bids to claim a world title from a third governing body in just eight days time. However ….

News broke yesterday that UFC President Dana White has made what is quite frankly an audacious offer to World Heavyweight Champion, Anthony Joshua. Rather than frantically typing my thoughts for you all to read, I have taken the decision to digest what this could possibly mean before airing my thoughts for you all to see.

So what does the deal entail? Well on the face is of it Dana White is looking to use his UFC millions to sign Joshua to a multi-fight deal. A deal which could value up to $500 million for a multi-fight deal. What’s that you say? Anthony Joshua in a cage? Wow, that could be interesting right? Not so fast. Joshua has categorically stated he is not interested in a change in discipline, at least not for the time being anyway.

No all the noise is actually in relation to Dana White looking to throw his hat into the world of boxing promotion, and has set his sights on a certain heavyweight champion from Watford, and why wouldn’t he. Whether you are a fan of his or not, Anthony Joshua is the most marketable boxer on the planet. There is really no argument to suggest otherwise. Since winning the Olympic Gold back in London in 2012. He and promoter have blazed a trail throughout the professional ranks and arguably breathed fresh air into boxing in Britain on the whole. After the bell has rung for the end of the twelfth round next weekend, Joshua would have put a quarter of a million bums in the seats for his last three fights. A number never before seen.

So let’s talk about what this could all mean. Well it is well known White and the UFC have deep pockets, and if you were to ask one or two fans around the world. They would say that the sport of boxing needs a shot in the arm. Now I don’t agree with this at all, boxing isn’t dead. It hasn’t even got a cold. But I can’t deny that a few fresh ideas may not be such a bad thing. But I seriously question White’s true motives behind this audacious move. If he were to start his own boxing promotion he would add yet another layer to an already complex situation that is the American TV network system. We are already restricted from the fights we are really quite eager to see. A war between ESPN, HBO and Showtime Boxing already exists. The UFC is aired exclusively on The Fox Network. Adding yet another layer to what is quite frankly a casserole of nonsense that already robs boxing fans of dream match ups.

Secondly, I do not think for one minute that Dana White won’t eventually try and get Joshua to switch disciplines, even on a short-term basis. Now let’s be honest, many of us tuned into watch Floyd Mayweather take on Connor McGregor. Not because we thought McGregor could possibly win. But we were intrigued by what we might see. But there can always be too much of a good thing. We have seen the UFC’s biggest star cross disciplines and it didn’t end well for him. We all know what curiosity did to the cat right?

Where does Eddie Hearn come into all of this? While he may have his critics, it goes without saying that the partnership of Hearn and Joshua has propelled boxing back into the lives of so many Britons following years of decline. For me, it seems almost unfathomable that AJ would turn his back on the man who has turned him into the sporting icon that he is today. Eddie Hearn is a very smart man and is already trying his hand in the American TV market. He has Daniel Jacobs in his stable, who has a deal with HBO. Joshua has a deal with Showtime.

I am happy to go on record as saying that Dana White may want boxing. Boxing doesn't necessarily want Dana White.