Advertisement: IBO Boxing
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com
Advertisement

Showtime's Espinoza on Covid-19 Battle: 'I Was Dead To The World at That Point'

Showtime Sports president and general manager Stephen Espinoza, who has overseen the network’s sports programming, including its boxing franchise, since 2011, gets numerous calls, texts and emails on any given day. But those who were trying to get in touch with him this past spring were met largely with silence.

The reason? Espinoza was quite ill with Covid-19.

“I’ve never been in a situation where I was too sick to text or email,” Espinoza told BoxingScene.com in his first public remarks on his bout with the illness. “And I could not pick up my head and I could not get it together enough to text people back or answer phone calls or write an email.”

Espinoza lives in Manhattan, where Showtime is based, and New York City, of course, was the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States this past spring. Like so many others, Espinoza caught the coronavirus.

“My girlfriend ( Jeannena) and I both had it,” Espinoza said. “Imagine the worst flu you ever had combined with the worst hangover you can imagine -- at the same time -- and that’s what it felt like.”

stephen-espinoza (2)_1

Espinoza said his girlfriend caught the disease first and likely is the one who passed it on to him.

“She used to work for the Lakers and she went to (Los Angeles) for the Kobe (Bryant) memorial (which took place on Feb. 24) and probably got it there. She got sick as soon as she got back. She brought it back.”

Espinoza said he came down with symptoms about a week later.

“She had it for several days and I thought I was good,” Espinoza said.

But then he also caught it. “I was dead to the world at that point,” he said.

By mid-March the sports world was shutting down because of the coronavirus pandemic and Showtime aired what turned out to be the final live boxing event for several months when it televised a “ShoBox: The New Generation” quadrupleheader headlined by junior welterweight prospect Brandun Lee against Camilo Prieto on March 13 from the Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota, where organizers at the last minute decided to move forward with the show but barred spectators due to concerns about the virus.

“I was just barely able pick up my head and watch that,” said Espinoza, who was in the midst of his month-long battle with the illness.

“It was a week of being in bed unable to move or get out of bed and then about three more weeks of just being exhausted all the time,” Espinoza said. “It took everything I could just to get up to go the bathroom.”

Espinoza said Jeannena was even more ill than he was.

“She had it much worse. She had a temperature of 104 for several days and lung pain and difficulty breathing,” said Espinoza, adding that they were ill at a time when it was very difficult to get tested for Covid-19 in New York.

“Fast forward to June/July when testing became (more widely) available and I went in and got tested for the hell of it and I had the antibodies. So I definitely had it,” he said.

Espinoza said he is “pretty much back to normal” but that Jeannena still has some ongoing lung problems.

He said the illness was bad and that he’d rather take a big punch from professional fighters set to co-headline their first Showtime PPV card on Sept. 26.

“I’d rather take a left hook from Jermall or Jermall Charlo easily, because it would be intense pain and then you’re recovering,” Espinoza said with a laugh. “Covid I think it is definitely worse.”

Dan Rafael was ESPN.com's senior boxing writer for fifteen years, and covered the sport for five years at USA Today. He was the 2013 BWAA Nat Fleischer Award winner for excellence in boxing journalism.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by MeanestNiceGuy on 09-21-2020

[QUOTE=The_Hamster;20770883]Yep. Espinoza is a weasel. Stay away from the vaccine. That will do more harm to you then the virus. The zinc, vitamin D, vitamin C ****tail I agree with. And I would add to it that concentrated wild oregano…

Comment by _original_ on 09-21-2020

[QUOTE=SteveM;20770976]adding quercetin or green tea extract to make the zinc more effective[/QUOTE] Noted and will add it to my supps.

Comment by Mindgames on 09-21-2020

[QUOTE=richardt;20770460]3 grams of Vitamin C daily as well, boosts the immune system and may be the single best natural defense against Covid, etc., as far as supplements.[/QUOTE] Yeah mate, got my parents on the same protocol, it's great for the…

Comment by Al Broker on 09-21-2020

[QUOTE=Roadblock;20770898]Glad you got through ok, its the old and weak that it slaughters thats the worry of it being passed on by people with minor symptom's, both my parents are in their 90s it would bowl them over for sure.[/QUOTE]…

Comment by SteveM on 09-21-2020

[QUOTE=_original_;20770501]Vitamin D, vitamin C, elderberry, and zinc. Trust me, keep these supplements at hand on a regular basis.[/QUOTE] adding quercetin or green tea extract to make the zinc more effective

ADD COMMENT VIEW COMMENTS (17)
Advertisement
Top Headlines
LIVE STREAM: Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz - Weigh-In Gervonta Davis: My Arms Are Open If Floyd Wants To Work Corner Saturday Night Lee Selby, George Kambosos - Ready For Eliminator Savannah Marshall, Hannah Rankin - Set For Title Clash Michael Conlan Suffers ATFL Tear, Out For 8-12 Weeks BoxingScene.com's Television Pick of The Week - October 30 Usyk, Chisora - Face To Face For Halloween War Munguia: They Offered Us This Fight, We Said Yes Without Even Discussing It Usyk-Chisora, Kambosos-Selby Weigh-In Report From London Santa Cruz: I Wanted Davis Fight Because People Said I Was Scared, Always Getting Tune-Ups Wojcicki-Volny Title Eliminator Postponed Due To Mandatory Shutdown In Germany Devin Haney: I Agree With Floyd Mayweather - There Are Too Many Belts In Boxing Miguel Vazquez Reflects on Controversial Loss, Aims For World Title Run Lee Selby Rejects Kambosos' Version of What Happened in Their Sparring Sulem Urbina: I've Wanted To Fight Marlen Esparza For a Long Time Hunter: I Don't Think Fury Will Pick Me, I Pose Bigger Threat Than Wilder Will Fighting Leo Santa Cruz At 130 Pounds Be Worth The Weight For Gervonta Davis? Savannah Marshall, Hannah Rankin Trade Words, Promise a War Raeese Aleem Continues To Train, Hopes For Title Shot Next Mayweather: If Tank Gets Past Leo, 1 More Fight, Then Hopefully Teofimo Fight Can Be Made Toka Kahn-Clary Blasts Out Jonathan Perez in Two Rounds Roy Jones: I Wasn't Like Mayweather, I Went And Got Every Belt Possible Gervonta Davis-Leo Santa Cruz - Judges, Referee Revealed For Fight Jaime Munguia, Tureano Johnson - Ready For Showdown Mikaela Mayer, Ewa Brodnicka - Face-Off at Final Presser Naoya Inoue, Jason Moloney - Face-Off at Final Presser Garcia-Campbell Interim Title Fight Heads To Fantasy Spring Casino Munguia-Johnson DAZN Weigh-In Report From Indio Gervonta Davis, Leo Santa Cruz - Face-Off in Texas Barrios Dedicating Karl Fight To Late Travell Mazion 3 Months After Friend's Death Lee Selby, George Kambosos - Face-Off at Final Presser Savannah Marshall, Hannah Rankin - Face-Off at Final Presser Usyk, Chisora - Face-Off at Final Presser, Hug it Out LIVE STREAM: Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz - Final Press Conference LIVE STREAM: Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. - Press Conference Gervonta Davis-Leo Santa Cruz Lands on Channel 5 in UK Subriel Matias' Manager Confident of Inching To World Title Shot in 2021 Tureano Johnson: When I Saw His Last Fight - I Knew I Could Beat Munguia! Gervonta Davis: I Cut Off Gamboa Fight When I Tried To Watch It; That Wasn't Me Mayweather: I Unretired vs. McGregor For A Quick Bank Robbery; Conor-Pacquiao Won't Be As Big
Advertisement
Advertisement
Latest Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement