Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Espinoza: Showtime Wants A Unified Champ at 175

By Jake Donovan

Even with the prospect of a bigger fight awaiting with a win in your next assignment, fighters will almost never admit to looking past their current opponent. Adonis Stevenson has talked plenty about the future, but hasn’t had much to say about anything other than beating Andrzej Fonfara, whom he faces on May 24 in Montreal.

The bout marks Stevenson’s debut with American premium cable network Showtime, after having fought three straight times on rivaling HBO in 2013 and was being floated as that network’s franchise fighter. It was believed that Stevenson was on a collision course to face unbeaten Sergey Kovalev, but instead opted for more money being offered by Showtime.

The move was well-timed, with the network securing the rights to his defense versus Fonfara at a time when plans were set for an April 19 light heavyweight alphabet unification bout between Bernard Hopkins and Beibut Shumenov. Hopkins won by a landslide decision, setting the stage for a future showdown with Stevenson should he win this weekend.

But what he if doesn’t?

“Here at the network, our goal is to televise a series of title unification matches, to produce one unified light heavyweight champion,” commented Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Showtime Sports. “We don’t have a preference as to who holds the titles.”

That said, a matchup between Stevenson and Hopkins is by far the most favorable of all of the scenarios originally posed when the two fights were purchased by the network.

Hopkins did his part in April, schooling yet another fighter more than a generation younger than the 49-year old future Hall of Famer. It’s up to Stevenson to live up to his end and turn away Fonfara (25-2, 15KO) in what serves as the third defense of the lineal light heavyweight crown he emphatically captured with a one-punch 1st round knockout of Chad Dawson last June.

While Showtime is seemingly intent on proceeding with its unofficial light heavyweight tournament regardless of who wins this weekend, there is far greater appeal with a Stevenson victory – even if the network assigns such desire elsewhere.

“[A] good amount of fascination with Adonis is that he’s a highlight reel puncher,” Espinoza acknowledges. “But (A loss by Stevenson) doesn’t throw a monkey wrench into our plans.”

The fact that Hopkins is attempting to become a two-time lineal light heavyweight champion at age 49 is a brilliant storyline in and of itself. In that regard, a fight with Fonfara – should he pull off the upset – could conceivably sell itself to television viewers, if not in the general market.

A win by Stevenson all but ensures a massive crowd piling into a venue of choice in the Quebec region of Canada, with storylines galore. There is Hopkins adding yet another record-breaking performance to his legendary career. There is Stevenson attempting to avenge countryman Jean Pascal’s loss to Hopkins to restore glory for his adopted nation. There is also the prospect of a true 50/50 matchup between crafty veteran boxer and a free-swinging knockout artist, both who continue to prove that – at ages 49 and 36, respectively – age is just a number.

The moral of the story is clearly, there’s a lot to gain with a Stevenson win and quite a bit to lose if…he doesn’t.

Regardless, Showtime doesn’t seem at all fazed by its hefty investment into the series.

“I'm not sure if devastating is the right way to describe,” Espinoza comments on the thought of a Stevenson loss, which actually falls in line with the network’s insistence that this weekend’s headliner is anything but a foregone conclusion. “My sense of Adonis is he has his own motivation. He's used to winning and wants to continue winning.

“On the other side, we have a challenger who is - I repeat, a competitive opponent. This is a well-matched, competitive fight.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America.
Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

Tags: Showtime image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by US Dirk Killer on 12-23-2014

[QUOTE=Khabash;15221040]Like Pacquiao hiding out at HBO?[/QUOTE] Or like Mayweather hiding out at Showtime?

Comment by Khabash on 12-23-2014

[QUOTE=Daylyt;15220857]showtime is nothing buck duckers.[/QUOTE] Like Pacquiao hiding out at HBO?

Comment by sugarsmosley_ on 12-23-2014

Espinoza is a complete fool

Comment by jas on 12-23-2014

[QUOTE=HEND;14573784]Glass chin? LOL. Based on what? Based on he was kayoed once? Other than that he wasn't even knocked down... The truly hilarious is seeing the Adonis haters as they lose they mind and say unsubstantiated bull****s all the time.[/QUOTE]…

Comment by Daylyt on 12-23-2014

showtime is nothing buck duckers.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (24)
Top Headlines Andrade: I Did Very Well in 160 Debut, I'll Fight Anybody! Karim Mayfield Decisons Miguel Dumas in San Francisco Gassiev Sees Joshua, Wilder in His Future: I'll Unify, Then Move Up! N'Dam vs. Murata - CompuBox Reflects on First Fight Stats Why Malignaggi Should Quiet Down. And Why He Won't. Machado: He Hurt Me a Few Times, But I Got The Punch I Needed Hassan N'Dam vs. Ryota Murata II: Pre-Fight Report Card Maciej Sulecki: I Want Jermell Charlo Next, I Want The Title Shot Alberto Machado Gets Off The Floor, Knocks Jezreel Corrales Out Jezreel Corrales-Alberto Machado - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Demetrius Andrade Makes 160 Debut, Dominates Alantez Fox Carlos Jimenez Knocks Out Pedro Campa in Shocker Sharif Bogere Decisions Rodriguez Over Ten Rounds in Las Vegas Gassiev Crushes Wlodarczyk in Three, Will Face Dorticos Next Gassiev vs. Wlodarczyk - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Culcay Hurts Resilient Sulecki, But Loses Unanimous Decision Hearn is Firm: I Want Wilder-Whyte Next, Never 50-50 For Joshua! Jason Moloney, Andrew Moloney Win Big in Melbourne Demetrius Andrade vs. Alantez Fox - CompuBox Historical Review Gassiev vs. Wlodarczyk - CompuBox Historical Review Josh Warrington Stops Dennis Ceylan in Ten To Earn Selby Shot Cecilia Braekhus Stops Mikaela Lauren in Six To Retain Ryan Burnett Defeats Zhanat Zhakiyanov - Unifies WBA, IBF Titles Azinga Fuzile Stuns Munyai, Simpiwe Vetyeka Suffers Upset Loss Lyon Woodstock Captures WBO Euro, Tommy Langford Wins Pedro Guevara Aims For a KO Against Shiro To Regain WBC Title Acelino Freitas Set To Return, Faces Martinez in November Josh Warrington vs. Dennis Ceylan - LIVE Results From Leeds Photos: Hassan N'Dam, Ryota Murata Ready For Rematch Battle Demetrius Andrade's Promoter Details Many Options at 160 Ryan Burnett-Zhanat Zhakiyanov: Pre-Unification Report Card Arum: Murata Will Be On Pound-For-Pound Lists By End of 2018 Schaefer Says Ringstar is Ahead of The Golden Boy Curve in Year 1 Anthony Joshua: 'Desperate' Wilder Needs Our Fight More Than Me Photos: Heather Hardy Stopped in a Bloodbath on Bellator Card Photos: Joe Joyce, Michael Page Debut - Stop Opponents To Win Ricky Hatton Believes Burnett vs. Zhakiyanov is 50-50 Fight James Metcalf: After Damon Jones, I'm Ready For Anyone Coldwell Explains: Amir Khan's Career is Going Down The Toilet! Hatton Says Claims of Wild Lifestyle During Career Were Overblown
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement