By Steve Kim
It was formally announced over the weekend that Showtime will televise the lightweight unification tilt between Robert Easter and Mikey Garcia from the Staples Center on July 28th.
Now their focus turns to the second half of 2018. They began the year with a big roll-out of their schedule that concludes with this weekends broadcast featuring Errol Spence from Frisco, Texas.
When asked about any announcement for the rest of their boxing line-up, Stephen Espinoza, the president of Showtime Sports and Event Programming told BoxingScene.com - "We ideally would love to save everything to bundle with a big mystery pay-per-view announcement. I'm not sure the timing is going to work out. It's always hard to line everything to do these slate announcements."
For the network it was time to announce Garcia-Easter as they got into June.
"This is one that we thought, 'OK, this is getting close enough, we need to get July 28th out there,' so what we do in August and later in the fall, hopefully we're able to bundle that up with (Deontay) Wilder-(Anthony) Joshua with a little bit of luck."
On Monday, it was revealed by Wilder that he agreed to fight Joshua in the UK - which was one of the biggest sticking points in getting a deal done with Joshua.
Whether or not that aspect being resolved is enough to get an agreement done is another story.
As for the latest in those negotiations, Espinoza stated - "So these are the kind so things that hold up things early in the negotiations. I sort of think once that is resolved the floodgates open and hopefully things move quickly after that."
And if the Wilder-Joshua fight is not consummated?
"(Wilder) is going to need to fight this year," answered Espinoza. "His goal is to have the Joshua fight this year. I think he's going to exhaust every possibility before taking some alternatively. So much so we haven't even discussed alternative opponents."