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Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford even closer to being made says Stephen Espinoza

Image: Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford even closer to being made says Stephen Espinoza

By Chris Williams: Showtime boss Stephen Espinoza says the negotiations for the Errol Spence Jr vs. Terence Crawford fight are “even closer” than it was last fall, and he believes the fight will be done by this summer or early fall.

Like always, Espinoza isn’t promising the Spence-Crawford fight will happen, but he’s optimistic that it can get made.

Fans are obviously losing interest in this fight, as neither guy has been particularly active, and they’ve both failed to face cutting-edge competition. Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) will be turning 36 soon, and he’s not faced anyone of note since moving up to welterweight in 2018.

Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) has been inactive for the last twelve months since his grueling battle against WBA 147-lb champion Yordenis Ugas last year in April.

“The difficulty with Spence-Crawford is how do you construct a deal with the fighters that everyone thinks is fair because that’s been thee fundamental disagreement here. It’s not networks, it’s not promoters. There’s none of those obstacles in place,” said Stephen Espinoza to Fighthype.

“It’s really about the perspective fighters in how they value themselves. What do they think is a fair deal, and there’s been a genuine disagreement in how they both view what the deal is worth?

“That’s not something you can talk your way into. At a certain point, people have to believe they’re getting a fair deal, or they’re not going to do it. There are other issues beyond that, but that’s been the major challenge.

“It hasn’t been as complicated as some of the more difficult ones. It’s been long and sort of grueling, but we’re closer now than we were at our closest point last fall.

“I’m optimistic. There was a point where discussions had completely stopped, but they’ve picked up the last couple of months and are making progress but slow progress.

“I don’t want to be too confident or too excited because the reality is we were very close last fall, and it fell apart. Now, we’re even closer now than it was in the fall. Could it still fall apart? Sure.

“I’m a big proponent of saying, ‘The deal is not done until it’s done.’ When we get there, and it’s signed, then it’s done. I’m optimistic. I think we will get a deal, and I also go back, and I thought we’d get a deal last fall. I’m certainly not infallible, but I am optimistic. I don’t think there will be anything announced this weekend.

“I’m not saying it’s impossible, but there are no plans to do it right now. June 17th was never a date for Spence-Crawford. It never was. People want this fight so badly, and I understand why, and I want it to. But when you start trying to connect dots that aren’t dots to be connected.

“TGB and PBC had a date on hold on June 17th, and people started saying, ‘Well, they got it on hold in Texas and Vegas. It must be for Spence-Crawford,’ and it spread like wildfire. It was never June 17th. It’s not going to be June 17th.

“Will it be this summer or early fall? I think so, and I think it’s more likely than not that we do get it done. It’s just not done yet.

“Our role is to help the fighters understand the deal and provide a different point of reference, a different explanation. Maybe more assurances and saying, ‘Maybe you don’t want to believe a particular promoter, but here’s our experience and our numbers to back it up.’

“So, it’s whatever is necessary to make the fighters comfortable and to really give them full information to what’s happening. We’ve got a lot of experience. There’s no one that has done more pay-per-views in the last ten years than us. When you look at the top pay-per-views in the market, we’ve done all of them.

“So the reality is no one is more experienced, and nobody knows the pay-per-view business more than us. So if someone comes in and asks questions about how it works and what’s the structure and what’s an appropriate deal and what’s a fair deal, we can be very helpful and we have been helpful,” said Espinoza.

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