By Edward Chaykovsky
The head of Showtime Sports, Stephen Espinoza, has received a lot of criticism over purchasing Saturday night's tripleheader from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. From top to bottom, fans are not happy.
The main event features WBC/WBA 140-pound champion Danny Garcia facing Rod Salka in a ten round non-title fight. Salka, mid-level contender at 135, is moving up to face Garcia. The fight received even more heat after the sanctioning bodies refused to approve it as a title fight and then Garcia's side requested a catch-weight of 142-pounds to boot.
While Garcia has praised his opponent, IBF 140-pound champion Lamont Peterson, who appears in the televised co-feature, is not over the moon with having to defend his belt against a big underdog in Edgar Santana. Peterson would have rather been fighting Garcia in a unification.
Rounding things out, Danny Jacobs will face Jarrod Fletcher for the vacant WBA 'regular' middleweight title. While almost nobody is picking Fletcher to win, the fight is receiving more criticism over the vacant WBA title at stake - as Gennady Golovkin is universally recognized as the real WBA champion at 160-pounds.
Bad press and angry fans aside, Espinoza is confident that all three fights will satisfy any fight fan who attends the show live or tunes in on Showtime.
"People have said and written that they know how these fights are going to end. But boxing matches are fought in the ring. We must remember that these young men have been training for hours and weeks and months for this opportunity. They will be performing on the biggest stage for boxing in New York City and perhaps one of the biggest stages for boxing in the entire world," Espinoza said.
"Rod Salka is a very entertaining fighter and I'm not going to be surprised at all when it is a very competitive fight. That is not a knock on Danny Garcia. This is the opportunity of Rod Salka's lifetime and he is taking it very seriously.
"It doesn't matter what people say or what people write. There is a lot at stake this Saturday. No one at this stage is taking anything for granted."