The Showtime boxing chief thinks we’ll be in for a lot of good fights when the sport comes back.
Stephen Espinoza, whose official title is very long but essentially boils down to him being the big cheese for Showtime’s boxing arm, appeared on the Showtime Boxing podcast with Eric Raskin and Kieran Mulvaney to discuss the state of the sport right now, with everything on hold while the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Espinoza was asked if Showtime has some interim boxing programming plans, and said that’s being worked on as we speak.
“It is therapeutic to look forward to and make plans for things that are more reflective of normal life for us,” Espinoza said. “Our goal is to fill that gap with a lot of the stuff we have. We have a deep library of documentaries and we are definitely surfacing a lot more of the archive both on demand, and we will look at it on linear more regularly.”
Despite this being without question a terrible time for the sport and world in general, Espinoza also said he expects we’ll be treated to some good stuff when boxing resumes.
“It’s going to be a wild ride,” he said. “There’s a lot to be made up. There are a lot of fighters that need fights to happen, and I think we could be in for a pretty interesting period of time where there’s a lot of activity in a relatively short window.
He added, “I think we’re going to see an action-packed, jam-packed schedule whenever we return, whether it’s in three, six or nine months — and we may see people taking a different tact on taking fights.”
Espinoza talked about much more, and also answered what fight he’d attend live if he could go back in time. He named the Feb. 1993 fight between Julio Cesar Chavez and Greg Haugen in Mexico City.
“It wasn’t a great fight or great opponent, but it’s my pick because of the legendary status that fight has within Showtime’s hallways,” he said.
“There were 132,000 people in attendance, you had Chavez taking the presidential helicopter to events, you had Don King getting robbed on his way from the airport to the hotel as soon he got into town. There were so many things around the atmosphere. It was one of those legendary events I would’ve loved to be at for the atmosphere.”