There's still a bizarre dynamic between boxing and mixed martial arts. For some reason many boxing head honchos still view MMA as the enemy. Some like Bob Arum even lash out at the growing fanbase by saying the fighters "roll around like homosexuals" and the followers are "skinheads."
I've never gotten it. I never will. There are plenty of fans who like and watch both boxing and MMA. This weekend's bout, with Manny Pacquiao fighting Joshua Clottey is a prime example. For some reason, HBO pay-per-view chief Mark Taffett continues to claim MMA fans don't like boxing.
"We've done a lot of research at HBO talking to our pay-per-view distributor, we haven't found more than five percent overlap between the audiences," said Taffet speaking to folks at USA Today.
Can that really be gauged accurately? How do you account for all the bars around the country that buy both boxing and MMA PPV's? Wouldn't that qualify as 100 percent overlap unless you have a profile on every attendee? It just seems odd for boxing to seemingly try and turn off MMA fans on a weekend that it has to itself with its most entertaining superstar on display.
"They're two businesses that co-exist. Two sports that are thriving. Our sport, whether it's on HBO or PPV, has been growing significantly over the last three or four years. There's surprisingly little overlap of the consumer base."
Is that true? As an MMA blog reader, do you have any interest in watching Pacman versus Clottey tonight?
UFC president Dana White seems to think there's a big crossover audience. He's part of it. He tweeted this week, to his 1,012,527 followers, that he was giving away tickets to the boxing match.
Arum and Top Rank extended the olive branch earlier this week. It's a smart move. Why wouldn't you want a guy with over one million followers on Twitter to hear about your fight? Maybe Taffett will jump on board next.