Dana White is insufferable. An outlandish fabulist who makes grubby carnival barkers look classy by comparison.
But, White does deserve credit for one immutable truth: he took perfect advantage of the bleeding, mostly dead carcass that is American boxing culture and deftly replaced it in the national consciousness with the three-octagon circus we call
More specifically, he took perfect advantage of hopeless chowderheads like Oscar De La Hoya, whose bizarre beefs and misplaced, bumbling displays of masculinity are infecting and compromising the reputation of the sweet science like a macho case of syphilis.
Bragging about how you could wash 50-year-old Dana White in a boxing match is a weird flex, dude. Real weird. That's like Michael Jordan saying he could beat an arthritic water polo player in one-on-one. It's petty. It's pathetic. It's not the tack of a confident man with sufficiently thick skin.
(And now that I think about it, I apologize for comparing the Golden Boy to Michael Jordan. He's more like Harold Miner, and even that may be generous given the incredible speed with which he's filing down his public reputation.)
And the only reason he'd ever feign at wanting to fight the UFC boss is because he knows he has zero ground to stand on stepping to him as a promoter in the fight game (forgive me if I refuse to acknowledge that "Golden Boy MMA" is even a real thing).
Honestly, "let's get in the ring" is a worthless response from Oscar in this whole Dana "feud."— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) December 14, 2018
Rather than some meaningless one liner, please answer questions about last month's PPV, why public estimates have been lower than what you projected pre-fight, and your future plans.
Oscar is panicked because his relevance is disappearing faster than a gambling debtor in a vat of acid. Full stop. The disastrous, demoralizing Golden Boy MMA debut event "headlined" by Tito Ortiz and an alarmingly decrepit Chuck Liddell, a promotion that should never have been allowed to take place, proves it beyond doubt.
The young demographic that mainlines mixed martial arts right into its bloodstream is full of exuberant fight fans who never watched De La Hoya box in his prime. At best, they saw him get knocked out by a pushing-40 Bernard Hopkins, outfoxed by Floyd Mayweather, and comprehensively embarrassed by Manny Pacquaio in a farce of a bout that slammed the door on his career.
At worst, they literally only know him as an authentic buffoon falling over himself trying to save boxing and invade MMA like some kind of punch-drunk Falstaff.
Let's be fair, though. Dana White is still a bum, a fake-tough PT Barnum of competitive face-punching, seemingly purpose-built for Trump's America and its endemic boorishness. He crossed a serious line when he trashed De La Hoya as a "coke head" as their feud went nuclear late last year.
But, UFC isn't just a scrappy challenger to the boxing establishment anymore; it's the biggest game in town. And for what that's worth -- let's be honest, it's worth a lot -- White deserves his due as a mogul through his ability to will feverish worldwide excitement into existence.
Oscar slings mud just like White. But unfortunately, as things stand, that's quite literally the only thing Oscar can do.
Golden Boy as a promotional apparatus is crap, and it's a shame. Oscar is a legend in the fight game. We should still be able to muster up the perspective to view him that way. But, he sure is making it difficult.
If Oscar is going to get back into the ring with anyone, it ought to be with himself. Because if you're suddenly a bigger blowhard than Dana freaking White, something's clearly gotten knocked loose in your head.