Showtime boss Stephen Espinoza is optimistic welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr., and Terence Crawford can agree to a deal to fight this year.
Espinoza points out that IBF/WBA/WBC 147-lb champion Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) recently told Jim Gray of Showtime that the fight with Crawford would happen this year, and he views that as a positive sign that it’ll take place.
What the Spence-Crawford fight has in its favor is there are no network or promoter obstacles that could potentially block the fight from happening, like in the past when Crawford was with another promoter and fought on ESPN.
Espinoza optimistic Spence-Crawford happens in 2022
“Look, I’m very optimistic that we are,” said Showtime president Stephen Espinoza to Fighthype when asked if Spence vs. Crawford happens this year.
“If you ask Errol Spence like we did during the telecast this past Saturday in the Jim Gray interview, he was very definitive. He was predicting that we will get it, and I tend to agree with him.
“We know there are no network obligations; there are no promoter obligations or conflicts. Those are the things that usually mess it up.
“So now it’s a matter of grinding through the deal and getting to the point where everyone feels like they’re being treated fairly, all the details are taken care of.
“Knowing how bad Errol wants it and knowing how bad Terence wants it, I think it will happen this year. There are some arguments. Spence has the belts.
“Spence has three, and that gets him a bigger split, or that Crawford’s pay-per-views haven’t quite done the numbers that Spence’s pay-per-views have done.
“There are arguments, and you can also say that Crawford has been #1 pound-for-pound and been a champion longer than Errol. So there are arguments on both sides.I think where we end up is that if it’s not 50-50, it’s pretty close,” Espinoza said.
Stephen reacts to Hearn’s comments
I think it’s funny because at this point, everyone knows his MO [modus operandi],” said Espinoza in reacting to being told that Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn claims that the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin trilogy will do 10 x the numbers that Spence-Crawford will do.
“Whatever he does, it’s bigger and better than everyone else does,” said Espinoza bout Hearn’s belief. “He always has opinions about everyone else’s work and rarely has self-critical opinions.
“So when someone has that kind of approach, you just kind off have to laugh. If that’s what you’ve got to say to make your men bigger or make yourself feel more important, then that’s fine. Boxing fans will speak for themselves.
“I just think it’s the blatant dishonesty,” said Espinoza when asked what it is about Hearn that gets on the nerves of fans. “That’swhat rubs me the wrong way. That’s where the friction has been in our relationship.
“It has nothing to do with losing Joshua or anything like that. I prefer to do business with people who are honest and forthright and have integrity,” said Espinoza.
Spence vs. Crawford = biggest fight in boxing?
“I think there are three fights that are in that conversation,” said Espinoza when asked if Spence vs. Crawford is the biggest fight in boxing. “I think Tank vs. Ryan Garcia, Canelo – [Jermall] Charlo and Spence-Crawford.
“I would even put, and this is looking a little bit down to the future. I still think Joshua-Wilder is one of the biggest fights in the sport, assuming Wilder is coming back and assuming Joshua can get by Usyk. I still think that [Joshua vs. Wilder] is a massive, massive fight.
“It’s a good point whether Charlo-Canelo, I think it’s two different fanbases, so I think that adds to it as well. The reality is Benavidez-Canelo; a lot of people believe that Benavidez is the biggest threat to Canelo.
“So you’re probably right. I should add that to the list because I think people will be intrigued by that fight because of his [Benavidez] style, his height, and his size; I think that’s a big challenge for Canelo,” said Espinoza.