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Espinoza: Wilder-Fury II Was Close, Not Best Time For New Deal

By Victor Salazar

New York - Last week, heavyweight contender Tyson Fury (27-0-1, 19 KO’s) made big headlines.

In a surprising move, Fury signed a co-promotional deal with Top Rank. It was a surprising move because by all accounts Fury and WBC world champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KO’s) were nearly set to face each other for a second time after their controversial first fight.

So while the boxing world prepared for their much anticipated rematch, Fury went in another direction.

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Wilder, who is advised by Al Haymon, has a close working relationship with Showtime Sports. Top Rank has an exclusive deal with ESPN.

So when the news broke that the immediate rematch was off and Fury was taking an interim-fight on ESPN, not many were surprised.

However, it does pose a complexity as to whether or not we ever see the rematch.

Showtime Sports head Stephen Espinoza was just as surprised by the move as the rest of the boxing world and feels the rematch will be much more difficult to make.

“It’s certainly makes it more difficult,” Espinoza told “It’s another strange series of events. At a certain point, it’s incumbent on prompters as well as fighters to not do things that create obstacles for the fight. So if you’re on the one yard line with a rematch deal, that probably not the best time to veer in a different direction.”

Espinoza can see the move being made by the Fury’s handlers in order to avoid a rematch and safe face as to the reason why.

“If you don’t really want the fight, that’s a good reason to not make the fight, you have something to point to outside of you don’t want the fight,” explained Espinoza.

“I’m not saying that’s the case. I believe Fury wants a Wilder rematch and I feel Joshua wants a Wilder fight. But there are business people around them and it’s incumbent on fighter to say that I’m not going to allow my business people to put in obstacles to a fight that’s important to my legacy and my career.”

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Batfink on 03-06-2019

[QUOTE=filup79;19560198]For all this claim that ESPN reaches more homes than any network means nothing when most of TR shows barely crack 1 million views. Most of the time you pretty much are lost looking for a fight because some game…

Comment by Ray* on 03-05-2019

[QUOTE=filup79;19550325] [I][B]Espinoza isn't asking fighters to sign multi fight deals with PBC or Showtime[/B][/I] in order for them to make a fight. GB, Arum and Hearn ask fighters to sign over options for future fights to fight their fighters most…

Comment by filup79 on 03-05-2019

[QUOTE=Batfink;19557549]We are talking big business now, without being inside the industry it’s not black and white on what’s going on and why. I don’t see a big issue with a multi fight deal with a large television broadcaster. You are…

Comment by Batfink on 03-04-2019

[QUOTE=filup79;19548027]Espinoza isn't asking fighters to sign 2 or 3 fight deals in order to make the fight happen with any of the PBC fighters. They offered Fury a Wilder fight without him giving Showtime or PBC any guaranteed options of…

Comment by Ajvar on 03-02-2019

[QUOTE=mrlopez;19548301]According to Tyson Fury, he states that "The world knows I won the fight, as did you and your team (directed at Wilder). Fool me once shame on you but you wont fool me twice. Why would I go get…

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