It’s one of the oldest disses in the book when it comes to Dana White: “Oh, he’s just a jumped up boxercise coach.”
That insult is often pinned to White’s days running a boxing gym in Boston, the same gym he famously had disappear from when members of Whitey Bulger’s mob showed up demanding protection money. From there he moved to Las Vegas, hooked up with the Fertitta brothers, and bought a little promotion called the UFC. The rest is history.
What’s NOT history, according to White? That ‘boxercise coach’ designation. At least not when he was in Boston. He pushed back at the label during an interview with Harvey Levin on the FOX News show OBJECTified.
Dana White was a boxercise instructor before becoming UFC President!! pic.twitter.com/eZ59gjlJFw— World of MMA (@CM_fights) January 27, 2015
”We weren’t boxercise instructors,” White said when shown the picture circulating the internet that seemed to back up the claim. “We taught boxing classes, that’s what we did.”
”For housewives, businessmen?” Levin asked.
”Exactly,” White replied. “It did really well.”
Then the mob showed up and White bounced to Las Vegas where he did indeed become a boxercise instructor. Well, almost.
”Boxing fitness, it was called,” White clarified. “So I taught classes at the clubs, they were huge, packed. Then I had a gym and took people in and trained them, private lessons. And I used to have these boxing clinics that I would have every five weeks.”
That led to the fateful moment in MMA history when White met back up with old high school buddy Lorenzo Fertitta.
”I show up at a wedding and Lorenzo Fertitta approaches me and he’s like ‘What’s up, how you been?’” White said. “And we started talking and he’s like ‘I heard you’re boxing’ and I’m like ‘Yeah’ and he says ‘I just got into the Nevada State Athletic Commission, let’s get together, I’d like to train.’ So that Monday him and his brother Frank show up and started training with me, and we’ve literally been together ever since.”
With White taking the UFC from a $2 million buy to a $4 billion sale to now a $7 billion valuation, you could say things worked out pretty well for him and the Fertittas. Well enough that you’re probably not going to hurt Dana with that boxercise label.