Home Boxing News Stephen Espinoza breaks his silence on the future of Showtime Boxing

Stephen Espinoza breaks his silence on the future of Showtime Boxing

Stephen Espinoza. Photo credit: Naoki Fukuda

The future of boxing on Showtime has been the subject of much speculation on social media sites over the past few weeks with some people claiming the US broadcaster will cease televising the sport.

Other people are suggesting a trimmed down boxing schedule is part of the plan.

The genesis of all this scuttlebutt can be traced back to the merger between Paramount+ and Showtime which officially took place on June 27, 2023.

The truth of the matter, according to Espinoza, is that budgets are yet to be allocated and the amount of investment Paramount+ is prepared to put into boxing remains to be determined.

Until it is, it is business as usual.

“I’m smiling because everyone’s got an inside source,” Espinoza said to Fight Hub TV.

“Everyone’s an expert, everybody has a source who’s telling them exactly what’s going on — none of which is accurate.

“Now, look, there’s a budget process and there’s things to be discussed, and there’s a media business that’s a lot of transformation, and there’s a Paramount corporation that is under financial pressures like all media companies nowadays.

“So, all of that has to be discussed. But all this stuff ‘Tank’s going on this PPV platform, Tank’s fighting Thurman…’ I’ve yet to read anything that was accurate in terms of what’s actually going on internally, in terms of the conversations and the criteria that are being discussed and what kind of elements. So, the reality is the future hasn’t been determined yet.

“I think it will be shortly, but until someone tells us different we’re going to continue doing what we’ve been doing.

“Because at the end of the day, as much as Showtime Sports has a strong brand and I think a lot of people respect what we’ve done, what people care about at home, what the fans care about is watching the best fights.

“They don’t care about the executives like me, they don’t really care about the networks, they’re just saying ‘get me the best fights’. So until somebody tells us differently, we’re going to continue delivering the best fights in the sport like this one here [David Benavidez vs Demetrius Andrade].”

Last month the UFC’s CEO and president Dana White took the opportunity to lay the boot in to both Showtime and Espinoza.

“That’s incredibly unfortunate,” White said of Showtime Boxing’s reported demise. “Production of that show is fantastic, the guy who runs Showtime Boxing is a great human being. It’s unfortunate to hear this.

“Fuck Espinoza, and it’s about time that shitshow product is off the air.”

Espinoza hit back.

“No disrespect to anyone but there are levels to this,” he said. “What we’re doing here is the highest level of the sport. This is special. This is different. The event on Saturday night [Canelo Alvarez vs Jermell Charlo] will generate a gate of over $20 million. That’s a rare feat in combat sports.

“It’s rare in concerts or events of any kind but this will be the third time in the last six months that we’ve done a gate of $20 million. Again, our third $20 million gate in the last six months.

“To put that in perspective, the UFC has never done a gate of $20 million in its entire history. We’ve done it three times since April. Like I said, this is special.”