UFC president Dana White may want to take a deep breath.
White’s rival, former boxing champion and now Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya, in a conversation on the CBS podcast “State of Combat” complimented White on his aggressiveness to keep UFC shows running during the COVID-19 pandemic.
— danawhite (@danawhite) May 2, 2020
“I commend and respect Dana,” De La Hoya said. “We did have our differences. When I wanted to get involved with the MMA, I did Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz. It was a huge success. I dipped my toes into the water, and I experienced it. It was actually wonderful. I love the MMA.”
“Dana came out and criticized me and ridiculed me and all that stuff,” De La Hoya continued. “You know what? Dana is doing a phenomenal job in defending his sport, growing his sport, and he’s doing it big. He’s doing it great, man. I commend him.”
De La Hoya also said that he thinks that despite the caution many states and athletic commissions are utilizing during the pandemic, combat sports will return to normal “sooner, rather than later.” And when it does, boxing has to come out swinging.
“We have to make a statement,” De La Hoya said. “GGG vs. Canelo has to happen. We have to show the world that we can the the big fights happen, that we’re here obviously to stay. Boxing will always be boxing it will survive, pandemic or not. Boxing has been around for years, for ages. As long as we are the best fights, as long as we make the biggest fights. And GGG vs. Canelo, it doesn’t get any bigger than that.”
“Canelo always fights the best, and I have no doubt in my mind that he wants to go after GGG.”
So far, it’s the UFC that is swinging for the fences, with four shows planned in Florida, starting with UFC 249 on May 9, followed successively with May 13, May 16, and May 23 events.