UFC President Dana White ripped Canelo Alvarez vs. Caleb Plant broadcaster Showtime for allowing the boxers to exchange punches at a press conference Tuesday in Los Angeles.
White, long a critic of Showtime, unloaded on those responsible for security at the gathering.
“How long have you been in the business that you would let two fighters go up to each other face-to-face without somebody there to try to [keep them from fighting],” he said at the post-fight press conference for Season 5, Week 4 of the Contender Series, which was streamed by the South China Morning Post. “And then, when it breaks out, there’s like two women that are there before there’s a man anywhere near it.
“You couldn’t be f*cking dumber than what they did today, risk a massive fight with one of the biggest stars in the sport, by not having the fighters safe.”
Plant suffered a small cut under his right eye after taking a pair of strikes from multi-division star Alvarez, who appeared to start the fracas by pushing his IBF champion counterpart. Cooler heads eventually prevailed, but the two were separated again before the end of the press conference.
“I’m not surprised,” White said sarcastically. “Sh*t Showtime is, they’re great. Those guys are really good at what they do, from production to press conferences. They’re f*cking awesome.”
A short-lived broadcast partner of former UFC parent company Zuffa and a much-maligned co-promoter in the 2017 “The Money Fight” between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather, Showtime has been a favorite target of White over the years.
Alvarez told ESPN.com the presser fight on Tuesday started when Plant started calling him names. Plant countered that Alvarez’s response stemmed from insecurity and insinuated the Mexican champ was using performance-enhancing drugs.
The UFC, of course, has not been immune from onstage confrontations featuring its fighters. In 2014, now-former champs Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier got into a full-fledged fight at a press conference for their first scheduled showdown – despite the presence of former UFC PR head Dave Sholler, who was quickly pushed aside as the two fighters collided. Both fighters received fines and community service; the fight was later postponed when Jones suffered a training injury.
In April, the promotion lost a co-main event fight between Jeremy Stephens and Drakkar Klose at UFC Vegas 24 when Stephens shoved Klose at the weigh-ins, reportedly resulting in a concussion suffered by Klose. White indicated that UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby erred by not intervening sooner.
“You can’t let two alpha males walk up to each other, face-to-face at the f*cking supper club, or wherever they were today having that press conference, and let two guys stare down without somebody to break it up,” White said of the dustup today in Los Angeles. “But they’re awesome, they’re great at everything they do, so it’s not shocking.”
The Alvarez vs. Plant fight remains scheduled for Nov. 6 in Las Vegas. Showtime will air the domestic pay-per-view event at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Below is the full DWCS press conference, courtesy of SCMP.