In this Big Fight Weekend Exclusive, Showtime Sports President Stephen Espinoza talks about Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia & Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford.
As we get closer to the big night and the media starts to settle in at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV, interviews begin to pop up with the parties involved with the event at the highest level. Dan Rafael, who arrived in Las Vegas on Wednesday, was able to catch up with Stephen Espinoza, President of Showtime Sports, to discuss several things involving the powerhouse network.
Right from the start, Rafael asked about the negotiations that took place for us to get Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia on Saturday night. Espinoza told Big Fight Weekend, “First, in terms of the negotiation, I would say this has been one of the most difficult, challenging negotiations I have been involved with; probably number two behind only (Floyd) Mayweather and (Manny) Pacquiao. So, when you go through that, you hope that it’s worth it. Clearly, sitting here Wednesday during fight week, it has been worth it. It’s a bigger fight than we realistically expected.” When asked about the rematch clause that everyone seems to be talking about leading up to fight week, Espinoza simply said, “It’s not that clear, and it’s not quite set. I don’t think I’m at liberty to discuss that.”
A little later in the conversation, the topic of Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford came up. I know everyone is over it, but Espinoza feels “optimistic” a deal gets done for a fight this year to decide who is the undisputed welterweight champion. “People are going to hear this and think that I take joy in throwing cold water on things. It irritates me as much as it does you when people start running with wild shit that isn’t true. First of all, June 17th was never a date for Spence-Crawford. It never has been, never will be. That’s people trying to connect dots that they shouldn’t be connecting. TGB had June 17th reserved in Texas and Vegas, and people said, ‘Oh, it must be Spence-Crawford.’ Crawford probably isn’t going to Texas, so that was silly anyway. The date doesn’t make sense,” said the Showtime Sports Executive.
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Espinoza continued, “There’s a rumor that the press conference is going on Saturday. As of 5:25, Wednesday, Pacific time, there is zero scheduled. There is no Spence-Crawford press conference scheduled this weekend. Does that mean, when you post this, I’m going to be proven an idiot, maybe? We could stay up until 4 am tonight, get everything resolved, signed, and everyone’s coming on the plane. But Errol (Spence Jr.) is coming to the fight anyway, and so are the Charlos, (Deontay) Wilder, (Andy) Ruiz, and (David) Benavidez. When people see Errol Spence coming through the MGM lobby, I feel like it’s going to trigger another avalanche.”
Rafael and Espinoza dive deeper into Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis vs. Ryan Garcia, who’s attending, why it’s a big fight, and everything Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford on the Big Fight Weekend Podcast, which you can here below.