Stephen Espinoza hasn’t been too pleased with the public’s perception regarding one of boxing’s most anticipated fights.
Espinoza, the head of Showtime Sports, recently expressed his dismay with certain media outlets that have reported on the negotiations for a welterweight undisputed match-up between WBA, WBC, IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. and WBO titlist Terence Crawford.
Espinoza was most likely referring to a recent report by ESPN which stated that Spence-Crawford talks reached a critical stalemate, one that could threaten to delay the fight from its proposed date of Nov. 19 into sometime early next year. Showtime, along with Fox, is understood to be a potential broadcaster for Spence-Crawford. Premier Boxing Champions, which backs Desoto, Texas' Spence, has output deals with both networks. Since last year, Crawford, of Omaha, Nebraska, has been a free agent.
“The reality is that these things [reports] take a life of their own,” Espinoza told FightHubTV. “The reality is I don’t even know how the November 19th date got out there. All of a sudden it was written in stone. The reality is there have been a lot of dates that we talked about. November 19th is one of them. I’m as anxious as anybody else, as a fan, to get this done.
“There’s two more anxious people than me. That’s Errol and Terence. They want to get this fight done as quickly as anyone. But the reality is these fights take time. I know everybody is impatient and wants it done yesterday. The reality is it’s a complex deal, there’s a lot to negotiate. I still think it’s on track.
Espinoza lambasted news outlets for reporting only a “fraction” of what has been going on in negotiations.
“I caution people all along the way don’t believe people trying to make headlines, trying to give you a piece of the story, pointing fingers at this side and that side, it’s done, it’s not done, it’s almost done — it’s silly,” Espinoza said. “They’ve got a little fraction of the information and presenting it like they have the whole story and they don’t. It is frustrating because there is so much misinformation. The real story is both fighters continue to work hard to making a deal.
“Personally, I’m very optimistic that it’s on track and that it will happen.”
Espinoza, moreover, insisted that neither fighter has formed any kind of contingency plan in case their fight falls through — a sign, according to Espinoza, of how committed the fighters are to striking a deal.
“There is no backup plan. There is no plan B, C, and D. There’s a plan A. Both fighters have said that that’s what they want,” Espinoza said.
“No one’s going to be forced into a deal that they’re not happy with,” Espinoza added. “So if it takes an extra four or six weeks that’s what it takes to get it done. You know, at the end of the day, no one’s going to care, on fight night, that it took an extra two weeks beyond what people thought as long as the fight gets done.”
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