Stephen Espinoza optimistic Spence vs. Crawford fight happens

By Boxing News - 10/09/2022 - Comments

By Adam Baskin: Showtime Sports executive Stephen Espinoza says he’s optimistic that the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford fight will happen and things are on track.

Espinoza states that the November 19th date “isn’t dead” for Spence-Crawford, but he doesn’t think boxing fans will be displeased if the fight takes place in December instead.

Espinoza feels that the Spence vs. Crawford fight won’t need much time to promote it. He feels that six, eight, or ten weeks would be fine.

The main thing is Spence and Crawford both want the fight to happen, and things are on track for that to occur. Espinoza says he’s not pointing fingers about which of the two is the reason for the negotiations to be dragging out the way they’ve been.

“The good news is we’re still talking. I’m still very optimistic. I think things are on track,” said Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza to K.O. Artist Sports about the Errol Spence Jr vs. Terence Crawford fight.

“I know everyone is impatient about things. It’s a big fight. Everyone wants it to happen. I want it to happen yesterday. Errol wants it to happen yesterday. Bud wants it to happen yesterday, but there are a lot of details to work out.

“No one is going to close a deal until it’s right. We’re getting closer. There are things to work out. There are a lot of people with half the story, a quarter of the story, and five percent of the story, presenting themselves as knowing what’s going on.

“Quite frankly, unless you have the complete story, it’s not even worth reporting. The reality is everyone gets a little tiny piece, and they want to go and make a headline. Good for you. You got clicks, but the reality is things are still on track.

“I can’t guarantee, but I’m still optimistic. The most important thing is Terence wants the fight, Errol wants the fight, and everyone’s aligned and pulling in the same direction.

“So if you ask me personally, I’m very, very optimistic that this fight is on track to happen. Look, I don’t want to point fingers. I don’t think that’s fair,” said Espinoza when told that Crawford is the one holding up the negotiations.

“Terence is not signing the contract until he’s comfortable, just like Errol not signing a contract unless he’s comfortable. Look, you’re entitled to negotiate and entitled to get what you feel is comfortable, what you feel is right for the fight.

“So I’m not going to point fingers and say, ‘he’s the problem,’ or ‘he’s the problem.’ It’s a complex deal; it’s a big fight. It takes time. At a certain point when everyone is comfortable, everyone is happy, then the deal will get signed, and everyone will get what they want.

“Obviously, time is getting a little bit short for November 19th. I don’t think that date is dead quite yet, but look, everyone wants the fight tomorrow if we could. No one is going to rush it and put it out there before it’s ready.

I don’t think too many people will be disappointed if it’s December instead of November 19th. The important thing is we get the fight and get enough time so we promote it and make it as successful as we all hope it can.

“I wouldn’t say that. I’m not going to say the fight won’t happen right now,” said Espinoza when told that Floyd Mayweather Jr said the Spence vs. Crawford fight won’t happen right now and that maybe in the future.

“I’m just saying that these are normal negotiations. It’s a fight that everyone wants and is excited about, so it’s under the microscope. But I’m not going to say it’s ‘not going to happen, and it’s six months away.’

“Things are happening every day. Progress is being made every day, and I think it’s still on track. I wish it could happen overnight, just like everybody does. There’s nothing that everybody wants more than to get the deal done quickly, but these things don’t happen quickly.

No, we’re not even thinking or talking about backup plans because there’s one fight that Errol wants and one fight that Terence wants. So there’s no need to talk about backup plans. When/if, in the unlikely event, something falls apart, we’ll talk about a backup plan.

“Nobody’s got a backup plan now because we’re all focused on plan-A. Plan B, C & D, no one is even thinking or talking about right now.

“I don’t like to define things in terms of the amount of pay-per-views they’re going to do. I think it’s the quality of the fight. You have two undefeated fighters. Two of arguably the top two or three fighters in the world.

“This goes up there with some of the great welterweight fights in the four kings era. It goes up there with De La Hoya-Trinidad, and Sugar Ray Leonard, the best welterweight fights in history.

“What it does is a nice little detail, but how much it sells is not an indication of how big a fight it is. It’s a great fight, it’s a fight that needs to happen, and it’s a fight that I think will happen.

“Look, there’s a lot of opinions out there,” said Espinoza when asked how much time he needs to promote the Spence vs. Crawford fight to make it successful. “The traditional view has been like you need three months, 90 days, you need 12 weeks.

“I don’t think that’s the case anymore. Part of that used to be because the marketing took time to get out there and get to the TV systems. The reality is so much of it is digital. So much of this spread so quickly and virally. It’s just not the same situation anymore.

“Could we do a promotion in six weeks if we needed to? Sure. Is it the best thing? Probably not. But six, eight weeks, ten weeks probably that’s the window. Somewhere around there,” said Espinoza about the amount of time to promote Spence-Crawford.

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