The entry of Dana White into boxing looked like it would come about this year, but 2018 has come and almost gone, and White hasn’t yet made the strides in the pugilism realm that he declared he would.
Oh, but it looks like he’s ramping up that incursion, if we judge by his words after the Saturday night UFC event topped by Jon Jones, the controversial and ultra talented MMAer who is in the mix to be labeled GOAT.
”See what we do this year,” the Boston-bred dealmaker stated after the show in LA finished. “Wait until you see what happens with Oscar De La Hoya in the next three years. You guys know me, some of you have known me for a long time. You wanna battle? I’m your guy. I’m your guy. Let’s do it.”
No hint of how that might come about, but we did hear news of one piece of the puzzle, I think. Roy Jones Jr Boxing will be placing their fare on the UFC Fight Pass service, it was announced. I reached out to Keith Veltre, who co-founded the promotion with Roy in 2013, curious to find out some specifics and maybe get some clues of how the White boxing play will play out.
“This will allow RJJ Boxing to expand our roster and we will be able to recruit some blue chip fighters,” Veltre told me. “Roy has been building strong alliances in Europe and Russia and you will see RJJ build a strong overseas stable. I can’t comment on Dana’s plans, but there will be more things rolled out in the coming months. Our relationship with UFC will be deep and RJJ Boxing will be a major player in the hierarchy of boxing.”
“The deal involves the following,” Veltre continued. Here is how he laid it out:
1. Three-year deal.
2. Up to 24 fights a year that will break up as follows.
(i) 12 events will equivalent to ShoBox style
(ii) 6 events will be specialty (all women’s show and specific weight class)
(iii) 6 events will be world eliminators or title fights
3. Our contract also enables us to present to UFC big World Title Fights that they would get first right of refusal. There is also a PPV model attached to the contract that allows UFC to partner with us on.
4. Use of UFC marketing arm to promote fights and fighters. Developing short stories that will promote fighters and future projects.
“There is more in the deal that is even bigger but at this time I can’t discuss as UFC wants to release in the coming months.”
Here is the release which went out touting the RJJ on UFC FP arrangement:
LAS VEGAS – UFC® and Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions have reached a new agreement to live stream up to 72 professional boxing events over the next three years on UFC FIGHT PASS®, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports.
The inaugural event in the RJJ Boxing series on UFC FIGHT PASS will stream January 31, starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, live from Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine, California. WBO #2-rated world title challenger, “Mighty” Aston Palicte (24-2-1, 20 KOs), and unbeaten WBO #4 ranked Jose “Chiquiro” Martinez (20-0-2, 13 KOs) will headline in the 12-round World Boxing Organization Junior Bantamweight Title Eliminator.
Roy Jones Jr., a multi-time world champion and future boxing Hall of Famer, formed the Las Vegas-based promotional company RJJ Boxing Promotions three years ago with Las Vegas entrepreneur Keith Veltre and developed a growing stable of fighters in a short period of time.
“I’ve always been a big fan of Roy Jones Jr. and I’m excited to be in business with him,” said UFC President Dana White. “Everyone knows I’m looking to get into boxing, and I look forward to the future with Roy and using FIGHT PASS to live stream these exciting fights to our subscribers.”
“I was elated when my partner, Keith Veltre, told me he had started talking with UFC,” said Jones. “This is just the beginning of a long, lucrative partnership between these two brands.”
“I couldn’t be happier to bring together the biggest name in boxing, Roy Jones Jr., with UFC, the biggest name in combat sports,” said Veltre. “I love that UFC is allowing us to be creative, so expect to see prospects, tournaments, title fights, and more in this series.”
FIGHT PASS is a digital subscription service that is now available in more than 200 countries and territories. In 2019, FIGHT PASS will showcase more than 200 exclusive events featuring top promotions from around the world, providing fans with a front row seat to a broad spectrum of competitive fighting, including mixed martial arts, boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, individual and team submission grappling, and more.
Fight fans can access FIGHT PASS on personal computers, iOS and Android mobile devices, Apple TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, LG Smart TVs, and Sony TVs with Android TV.
--Woods, a Brooklyn resident, was a staff writer at NY Newsday, before joining ESPN The Magazine (2003-2011). He edited TheSweetScience.com (2007-20015), and now publishes NYFights.com, and calls fights for Facebook Fightnight Live.