Tyson Fury’s co-promoter Bob Arum claims rival Dana White ‘ought to be ashamed of himself’ for trying to save UFC 249

Bob Arum has lashed out at rival promoter Dana White for trying to keep UFC 249 on in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The world of sport has ground to an agonising halt as the world struggles to cope with the deadly coronavirus which has spread around the globe at an alarming rate.

Bob Arum Teofimo Lopez - Tyson Fury’s co-promoter Bob Arum claims rival Dana White ‘ought to be ashamed of himself’ for trying to save UFC 249
Boxing legend Bob Arum has taken aim at the UFC and Dana White once again
Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Despite the state of New York slowly turning into the epicentre of the virus in the USA, White was adamant the fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson scheduled for April 18 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn could happen elsewhere.

However, with the lightweight champion now ruling himself out of the bout, legendary boxing promoter Arum took the opportunity to condemn the UFC head, labelling him ‘somebody with a flawed intelligence’.

He told CBS: “[White] ought to be ashamed of himself. What’s going on in this country and the world with this virus, the last thing we need is for an event to take place with no spectators just to get the event to take place.

“But the truth is Dana White is somebody with a flawed intelligence.”

NINTCHDBPICT000571510284 - Tyson Fury’s co-promoter Bob Arum claims rival Dana White ‘ought to be ashamed of himself’ for trying to save UFC 249
Brothers Lorenzo, left, and Frank, right, bought the struggling UFC for $2m and installed White as president – a role he still has today
Getty Images

The Top Rank supremo has never been one to mince words when it comes to MMA or the sport’s premier organisation.

During an interview with leading journalist Ariel Helwani, Arum referred to the sport as ‘garbage’ and criticised the technical ability of the fighters.

Although the 88-year-old has never admonished White or owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta for their promotional abilities, the decision not to scrap the event completely does not sit right with him.

He added: “He’s not going to move forward with the card, and if the card happens with people dying in hospitals all over the United States, he ought to be ashamed of himself.

“The message should be stay home and stand down until this is over. Let’s not spread the virus, let’s control the virus and do what we can to staff these hospitals and take care of people who go into intensive care.

“Let’s all be big people and big boys about it and stop the grandstanding.

“This will end when it ends, and it will end quicker if we all stick together and do what we are supposed to do, not go and shout from the rafters that, ‘I’m not a p**** and I’m going to put this fight on. I don’t care’.

“That is absolutely the wrong message to send.”

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