Monday, June 27, 2022

UFC Owners In Negotiations To Purchase PBC Boxing Stable

Ever since Conor McGregor faced Floyd Mayweather in the boxing ring back in 2017, rumors have been swirling about UFC parent company Endeavor getting into the sweet science.

Precious little has actually been confirmed on that front since. However, that could all be changing in a big way soon. According to a recent Q&A from The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger (via Bloody Elbow), Endeavor is in talks to purchase Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC). Coppinger said the rumors are true. He also confirmed there were a lot of details he would later report on concerning the potential move:

“Rumors are true. Al [Haymon] held several meetings with Ari Emanuel about a potential deal where Al would still be majorly involved the same way Dana [White] is with UFC following that deal with Endeavor. There’s a ton more to write about this; something I’ll cover in the coming weeks with a full-length story on the site.”

White’s ‘Big Boxing Move’ After The Summer?

UFC President Dana White has repeatedly teased he would be making big moves in the boxing business ‘after the summer.’ This would certainly qualify.

For those unfamiliar with the PBC, the stable burst onto the scene with a roster of more than 200 boxers in 2015. At the time, they utilized hundreds of millions in backup funding to tout themselves as a true force that could change boxing. However, things did not go as planned. The money mainly ran dry. They attempted to sign a long-term TV deal but settled for short-term time slots on networks such as ESPN, CBS, FOX, and NBC. Poor ratings and cards falling apart had the PBC on the brink of folding in 2016.

But they do have some solid accolades to boast. They did acquire their coveted long-term deal with FOX and Showtime. The PBC also has a large controlling interest in boxing’s pay-per-view system, although that has obviously been disappearing as big-name fighters sign deals with streaming services like DAZN and ESPN+.

Impressive Roster In Tow

The PBC does have an impressive roster of fighters still under their wing. WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. works with them. He’s currently a huge name after his unreal upset of Anthony Joshua on June 1. WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is also on their roster. They also have all-time great Manny Pacquiao, IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr, WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman, WBA featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz, and WBA super-featherweight champion Gervonta Davis.

None of the fighters, curiously enough, are contractually obligated to FOX and/or Showtime due to their association with the PBC.

The effects of Endeavor potentially buying the PBC are largely unknown at this point. PBC is technically a promotion and/or brand. They are not, however, officially a promoter. Longtime promoter Haymon did oversee the start of the PBC. He is listed as an “adviser” and “manager” for the company. If he wanted to be a promoter, the Bloody Elbow report stated he would violate the Ali Act.

In terms of Zuffa Boxing, White has stated he does not want to work with sanctioning bodies. It’s a prospect that seems unfeasible based on the regulations currently in place in professional boxing. As Coppinger stated, there’s still a ton left to be discussed about this potentially groundbreaking move. This could be a huge move that changes the face of how Endeavor approaches combat sports as they prepare to go public.

We’ll keep you posted.

Does Endeavor’s potential purchase of the PBC make you interested to see where Zuffa Boxing is headed next?

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