Fellow boxing promoter Lou DiBella thinks that Don King and Bob Arum didn't give enough back to the sport during decades of dominance. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Recently, UFC promoter Dana White and boxing promoter Bob Arum have exchanged some words in the media. Lou DiBella, who in the past was quite critical of mixed martial arts but has since changed his tune (a familiar happening in boxing), sided with White when speaking with Franklin McNeil of ESPN.com:
"There’s no question that when Don [King] and Bob [Arum] dominated this business for literally generations, that not a lot was invested back in the business. Frankly, Bob Arum admitted as much at his Hall of Fame induction. And the sport is in worse condition today than it’s ever been. ... I’m not out there hating on [UFC]; I don’t think they’re trying to hurt boxing. ... Boxing has lost sight of the fact that it’s a subset of the entertainment business. And Dana has not forgotten that."
DiBella isn't shy about criticizing fellow boxing promoters, but at the same time, what has DiBella done to change anything? It's not a question of whether or not I think many of his points are correct, because I do, but I don't think DiBella is seen as a "different" sort of promoter within boxing. Or maybe he just hasn't had the chances to do anything different. It's not like he has the power of Top Rank or Golden Boy.
But it's all just talk, really. Interesting talk, I think, but just talk. I don't see anything major changing any time soon, which is the deflating reality. I'd love someone in boxing to do something really big, really new. But until anyone is truly losing money, it won't happen.