Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White is getting back to his roots.
Along with boxing broski Peter Welch and producer Craig Piligian, White will help kick off "The Fighters," the new boxing reality show from the streets of Boston that debuts tonight (Thurs., Jan. 23, 2014) at 9 p.m. ET on Discovery Channel (see the video teaser here).
But don't expect a repacked version of his mixed martial arts (MMA) proving ground.
"This isn't The Ultimate Fighter. This thing stands on its own. You don't have to know anything about boxing. It's a good television show. You have to start to build the grassroots again. You have to start getting guys interested in boxing, the younger generation wanting to box. We just wanted to show a different side to boxing."
Boxing can use all the help it can get.
Outside of a few marquee names, like Floyd Mayweather Jr., boxing has failed to capture the masses like it once did, as today's combat sports fan -- who wasn't around to see champions like Sugar Ray Leonard, Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini or even Mike Tyson, remains indifferent toward the next generation of pugilists.
Can White -- a boxing fan at heart -- start a revolution with "The Fighters?"
If so, it may take more than one episode, or perhaps even one season. By his own admission, many of the problems that are plaguing boxing (aside from this embarrassment) have nothing to do with what takes place inside the ring. Perhaps a fresh start -- along with some fresh faces -- can change that.
Anyone willing to give it a shot?