Dana White denies Pacquiao-McGregor talk, fires back at comments from Bob Arum

Despite claims from Manny Pacquiao that talks for an April superfight against Conor McGregor have begun, UFC president Dana White adamantly denied said claims on Saturday and continued his ongoing beef with Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum. 

"That would be weird, because [McGregor's] under contract with us," White told MMAjunkie.com after Saturday's UFC Fight Night card in Fresno, California. "If that's true, I will be suing Manny Pacquiao and whoever is representing him."

After squashing Pacquiao-McGregor, White was alerted to comments that Arum, the 86-year-old chairman of Top Rank, had made minutes earlier in New York following Vasyl Lomachenko's victory over Guillermo Rigondeaux about the UFC president's interest in promoting boxing.

"Who gives a s--- with White, he's a piece of crap," Arum said. "Yes, it's an acknowledgement of how strong boxing is. [White] has a UFC that's cratering and he needs boxing to save himself." 

White, who has been trading insults with Arum for more than a decade, presented a stern warning. 

"You'll see, Bob," White said. "We'll see at the end. Bob's the same guy who said the UFC would never work, and the UFC was loosing 'oodles' of money, whatever the f--- 'oodles of money' means. Look at what we've done and look at where we are. I mean, come on. At the end of the day, we'll see who stands where when the smoke clears and the dust settles.

"I'll give it to him, though. For a f------ 95-year-old dude, this guy's pretty feisty, man. I'll give it to him. I'll give him that."

Arum had been asked about White's recent comments that he was "100 percent" entering boxing promotion after the success of McGregor's pro debut in August against a returning Floyd Mayweather. Arum showed support to the idea, mostly because he says it proves his point all along.

"Well I think [White] would get licensed right away because they certainly have the balance sheet," Arum said. "For me, that would be great. If Dana White started promoting boxing, it would be terrific because it would show what we have now proven that boxing is not an old man sport. That our demographics are young."

Arum, who recently moved his fights from premium cable on HBO to ESPN after signing a four-year deal, says his boxing cards have outperformed UFC in the ratings when paired against each other on cable, as they were again on Saturday. 

"We have been up against them twice and we are up against them now for the third time on a level playing field -- free television ESPN and free television on Fox and FS1," Arum said. "When it's free -- a lot of kids don't have premium television because they can't afford $15 a month -- and when we have a level playing field, we beat the pants off of them not only in the overall rating but in the demographics that everybody is looking for. 

"So you guys, and to some extent everybody in boxing, really played into this demographic and argument that boxing is old, only old people watch it and young people don't watch it. It turns out, in the light of day, to be total b---s---."

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Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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