Stephen Espinoza discusses Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia contract situation, asks if De La Hoya getting “cold feet”

01/15/2023 - By Jeepers Isaac - Comments

Showtime boss Stephen Espinoza admits that there still isn’t a signed contract for the Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis vs. Ryan Garcia fight in April, but he says they’ve agreed to an “exchange of terms.”

Espinoza says it’s not unusual for the contracts not to get signed until the week of the fight, so he’s not understanding what Ryan’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions, is going on about.

De La Hoya said early Sunday morning that if he doesn’t receive a contract from Tank Davis’ management by this Monday for the Ryan Garcia fight, they’re “moving on.” That’s De La Hoya’s deadline, and it’s unknown if he’s serious or if he made the comment when he was tired from staying up late.

Espinoza questions whether De La Hoya is getting “cold feet” about the deal that they agreed to. It’s unknown, but if De La Hoya is having “cold feet,” he might take Ryan in a different direction towards another fighter. As popular as Ryan is, he has numerous options for lucrative fights. He doesn’t need Tank Davis to make money.

“I’m not saying that contracts are never signed until the week of the fight. I’ll tell you this, the contract for [Gervonta vs. Hector Luis Garcia] for Davis-Garcia was signed within the last 24 hours,” said Stephen Espinoza of Showtime to Fight Hub TV, responding to being asked about Ryan Garcia’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya saying that they must send a contract for the Tank  Davis by this Monday or they’re moving on.

“Obviously, there was an understanding in place, and we’ve gotten to this. We’re coming off of Christmas, New Years, and the legal departments are closed, and people are traveling. This contract didn’t get done until this week.

“So it’s not that unusual. It’s not unusual for Oscar’s own fights. I tell you now. There’s generally something. Is there what you call a formal signed contract? No. Is there a very detailed exchange of terms where everyone said, ‘I’m in agreement, I’m in agreement, I’m in agreement?’? Yes, there’s that.

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“Did everyone review the announcement that a deal is made and agreed before it went out? Absolutely. No deal would have been announced by the fighters had not everyone signed off.

“So the reality is, it’s a little bit puzzling, it’s a little bit mysterious that you would say, ‘Sure, Ryan. Go ahead and tell everybody you have a deal’ and then two days later come out and say, ‘Well, there’s not really a deal.’ So, I’m not sure what the agenda is.

“Maybe it’s cold feet. Maybe you’re getting buyer’s remorse over the deal you made, but on the deal that they announced it, that the fighters announced that they had a deal, everyone was in agreement.

“DAZN, Golden Boy, Showtime, PBC, everybody was comfortable with the fighters saying, ‘We have a deal.’ So why a couple of days later, it changed, it’s a mystery to me.

“I smile because I spent the first part of my career where you never get to a signed contract, but that is unusual.

“I’m not saying the typical is fight week, but it sort of depends. In some points, it gets signed six months in advance virtually, and some of the deals on Mayweather-Pacquiao were announced, everyone sent out signed signatures.

“That doesn’t mean all the agreements were fully negotiated at that point. So I’m not going to say it happens all the time or most of the time. It’s not that unusual. If we have four fight dates in a row and we’re coming off of holidays or whatever, and sometimes the legal department gets backed up.

“Yeah, sometimes the contract doesn’t get finalized until the week of the fight. That’s not the ideal. It’s just the reality,” said Espinoza.