By Sal Arteaga: Showtime Executive Vice President Stephen Espinoza has turned the television network into boxing’s premier broadcast by producing high quality boxing events. He’s done so by attracting top level talent none bigger than pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather (45-0, 26 KO’s) who signed an exclusive six fight deal with the network.
Four fights remain in the Showtime-Mayweather contract. The next fight is scheduled for May 3rd against likely opponent Amir Khan, to be followed by a September 13rd bout against a to be determined opponent. One name seems to have reemerged once again as a possible candidate– Manny Pacquiao (55-5, 38 KO’s). After his dominant victory over two division champion Brandon Rios (31-2, 23 KO’s), the Filipino superstar along with his promoter (Top Rank) made it known they would like to challenge the pound-for-pound king.
Pacquiao’s next bout is scheduled for April 12th, making him available for a possible September showdown against Mayweather, if the parties come to terms. Bob Arum is open to negotiations and is, now, willing to compromise to finalize the mega fight.
Stephen is about to test how determined and willing Bob is to negotiating, “I will call Arum. This is an enticing enough opportunity to do it. HBO, for whatever reason, doesn’t have an exclusive deal with Manny Pacquiao, so there’s no reason it can’t be on Showtime,” Espinoza told the LA Times.
The Showtime executive plans on acting on Arums willingness to negotiate very soon and will contact him to gauge his interest in the fight being aired on Showtime pay-per-view. We’ll all find out just how serious and determined Top Rank is in making this fight by how welcoming Arum is of Stephen’s proposition.