UFC’s Dana White: Manny Pacquiao is Boxing; Mayweather is a Problem

| by Alex Groberman

At this point, forcing someone to choose between whether they are on Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s side is something of a time-honored tradition. Like political affiliation or religious orientation before it, the “Pacquiao or Mayweather” debate can rip apart friends, devastate families and wreck nations.

Everyone ranging from actors to musicians to sportscasters has weighed in on whether they are Team Pacquiao or Team Mayweather, and you can now officially add another name to that long list of opinions – that belonging to UFC mastermind and mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Dana White.

Appearing on WFAN in New York with Boomer and Carton (via SportsRadioInterviews), White weighed in on a myriad of topics including, but not limited to: Kimbo Slice, UFC television rights, New York’s position on MMA and, of course, Pacquiao versus Mayweather.

When asked how Pacquiao would do in the UFC, here was White’s response:

“He wouldn’t do well. I’m a huge, huge Manny Pacquiao fan. He is boxing right now. Floyd Mayweather, and Floyd and I go way back and I told Floyd to his face too, Floyd is one of the big problems with boxing. Holding out, not taking this fight with Manny Pacquiao, and doing what he’s doing. I think Manny Pacquiao is boxing. Everything about him is positive and I love the guy.”

Ouch. Ouch on all counts, really.

First, White seems to be holding steady in his belief that boxers would never be able to hang in the ring with MMA fighters. This belief is understandable, obviously, because the MMA world requires a far different set of skills than the boxing world does. In the MMA, you have to be good at a lot of variations of fighting styles. In boxing, you just need to be a really great boxer.

Secondly, it’s interesting that describes Pacquiao in such high regard. White literally says that Pacquiao is boxing. He doesn’t call the Filipino superstar one of boxing’s biggest stars, he quite explicitly notes that the man is the entire sport. Given some recent happenings over at HBO, that theory may not be too farfetched. Plus, White doesn’t seem to read too much into Juan Manuel Marquez posing any threat at all in Pacquiao’s next bout.

Finally, he echoes the sentiments of many when he describes Mayweather as a problem for boxing. Clearly, he is of the belief that something is off about the undefeated brawler’s inability to come to terms with his Filipino counterpart over the last year. Similarly, he doesn’t seem especially impressed by Mayweather’s flip-flopping on the issue of whether or not he believes Pacquiao is on performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Nor does he give much credence to Mayweather’s plans for the near future.

In the end, as usual, White provided a reasonable and completely rational point of view on a sport that he has essentially made it a personal mission to kill. Perhaps Pacquiao and Mayweather would be wise to heed his advice on their potential super fight, before the UFC ultimately makes the pair just as irrelevant as their sport of choice is slowly becoming.