Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn and Showtime boss Stephen Espinoza carried on a very public “Twitter feud” on Monday night. The pair traded shots on last year’s failed negotiations for an undisputed heavyweight title fight between Joshua and Deontay Wilder.
Some believe this proposal was merely a ruse and that Wilder’s camp were attempting to broadcast the fight on BT Sport in the UK, rather than Sky Sports who Joshua is signed to .
In response to these claims, Espinoza tweeted to a fan that a contract was sent to Matchroom Boxing which declared Sky would get the UK TV rights after all which Hearn instantly disputed as “stone cold lies.”
In an interview Hearn went on to challenge the Showtime boss to reveal the supposed contract, so Espinoza responded with the a screenshot stating Sky would be the UK pay-per-view distributor.
Throughout the situation with the $50 million offer, Joshua’s promoter was insistent he had never received a contract and maintained the his stance, requesting Stephen produce the full document.
Stone cold lies.
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) February 25, 2019
Espinoza then linked to an article in which Hearn stated he’d received an ‘offer’ from Wilder, to which the Brit replied laughing and insisting the ‘offer’ was very different from an actual contract.
The Showtime exec then stated a detailed, three-page contract was sent and received, but Hearn again vehemently denied this was true.
Espinoza replied back by bringing up old negotiations between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko
He claimed the Matchroom boss attempted to deny AJ’s Showtime deal at the time in order to make things work with Klitschko’s HBO agreement (the bout ended up being broadcast by both).
He added he would not expose any more private business arrangements on social media, to the annoyance of Hearn.
Espinoza remained firm a three-page document was sent – regardless of whether it was a ‘contract’ or not – and next asked Hearn what he’d refer to it as.
The promoter replied saying nothing close to a contract was ever sent and aimed a dig at Espinoza by telling him “check with your fighter Deontay Wilder… oh no wait” – a reference to Wilder recently declaring he is a broadcast free agent.
Hearn also then mocked Showtime for losing Joshua, who is now on a fight-by-fight deal with DAZN instead.
The undoubted immaturity highlight of the entire spat came when Hearn had the audacity to post a quote from the Disney movie ‘Frozen’ and send Espinoza a GIF of himself dancing as a means of telling him to get over Joshua’s departure from Showtime.
The argument then died down and ended with a few more insults from Hearn relating to Conor McGregor, who famously called Espinoza a “f***ing weasel” before his fight with Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
Espinoza concluded by denying Hearn’s claims that he had tried to approach Joshua’s coach Rob McCracken to secretly lock in a contract extension and that Showtime “ran out of money.”
Based on this exchange yesterday, It seems that the two aren’t seeing eye to eye.