Andre Ward: Boxing Has Too Many ‘Egos’ To Follow The UFC Model

Former two-weight world champion Andre Ward says ‘egos’ prevent boxing from having one governing authority.

The UFC is often praised for making the most competitive fights. The centralized nature of the UFC means fighters are usually aware of who they will fight, allowing them to plan their career. Boxing is sometimes criticized for having too many obstacles, as fighters, promoters, and networks may get in the way of making the best fights.

The absence of a central authority has also hindered the drug testing system in boxing, with VADA not being recognized by UKAD, leaving loopholes for fighters who test positive. Conor Benn’s failed VADA tests for Clomiphene are technically not enforceable by UKAD unless a change is made. The UFC has one body, Drug Free Sport, which carries out drug testing following USADA’s departure last year. But Ward felt boxing was way behind the UFC’s model.

“I know people float that idea of [a UFC model], and I respect what Dana [White] and the UFC have done. I would have to see someone put something together and see if it makes sense. It would have to be a person with billions of dollars to get all the promoters to agree to come under that. There are too many egos in boxing, from the promoters to the managers to agree to just let one person run it,” Ward said 

The problem with the UFC model is the accusations of a monopoly. The UFC is facing a lawsuit from ex-fighters, who claimed the organization broke anti-trust laws, controlling how much fighters could make. Boxing does not suffer this problem as fighters can move to other promoters to get the highest purses. A fine balance is needed to address the promoter-fighter power dynamics.

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