LAS VEGAS — We're beginning to learn more about what a boxing division controlled and operated by TKO Group Holdings may look like, should the $21 billion company launch one in the coming months or years.
TKO is a firm founded in 2023 that comprises of the sports and entertainment titan WWE, and mixed martial arts leader UFC.
The UFC boss Dana White confirmed to ProBox TV earlier this month that there is room in the company for a boxing division.
When we asked him if he thought TKO would create one from the ground up, or buy an existing company like Premier Boxing Champions, Top Rank, or Golden Boy Promotions, he said he "would create" one.
We asked him to elaborate, but he told us "no!" and laughed.
This week, though, 360 Promotions boss Tom Loeffler confirmed that his rising super welterweight prospect Callum Walsh — a Los Angeles-based puncher from Cork, Ireland — will fight at the Theater inside Madison Square Garden in November; just two days before the UFC headlines the big room.
Walsh has heavyweight backing as Freddie Roach, the former coach for Manny Pacquiao, trains the boxer at the Wildcard Boxing Club in Hollywood.
White, too, broadcasts Walsh's fights on UFC Fight Pass, and through his whiskey brand Howler Head, signed an endorsement deal with the 22-year-old.
In Walsh's ninth fight, he'll put his unbeaten record on the line when he takes on Ismael Villarreal. It's a fight that thrills White, and he'll be taking a ringside seat to support him.
"I'll be there," he told ProBox TV. "I'll be there for that fight."
White continued: "This kid has been fighting real guys. Normally, they give you a bunch of stiffs in boxing, and this kid is doing it the right way.
"I think the UFC has been the model to prove that when you fight legit fights all the way up, nobody questions you when you become the champion," he said. "It's tough for people not to look at you as the man, and the experience you get in those type of fights.
"For Callum, this kid should be a great fight. Plus, you got the whole this kid is from Ireland, this kid [Villarreal] is from New York — a local New Yorker.
"Plus, Tom Loeffler … I love the matchmaking. That's why I put his boxing cards on UFC Fight Pass. I'm all about matchmaking, man. I love good matchmaking. And Tom Loeffler is the best matchmaker in boxing."
White has been ringside for at least one of Walsh's fights in Southern California, and has seen his development first hand.
Walsh is generating even more media buzz now and White said he "100%" always envisioned the fighter would become a boxing superstar.
"And it's not just me," he said. "Freddie Roach, too. Freddie Roach is a big believer in Callum.
"I was on board with Callum early and I've done everything I can do to help expose him to more people and getting more people to watch his fights.
"I look forward to, hopefully in the next year or so, [seeing] him fighting for a title."
It's Walsh, ProBox TV understands, who may well be integral to TKO's future plans to break ground in the boxing industry.
In WWE, it has the wrestling market leader, and in UFC it has the MMA giant. Boxing may well be next, and Walsh could play a big part of it.
When we put all this to White, he said, through a big smile, that was perhaps only missing a wink and a nod: "Well, hypothetically … sure, he'd be a guy I'd be interested in."