Stephen Espinoza Calls DAZN the “Big Fight Blocker!”
In a recent impromptu interview, Stephen Espinoza urged the media to wonder if DAZN was holding up big-time fights. While standing in what appeared to be a mall, Espinoza, the President of Showtime Sports, outlined the willingness of his network and the other major platforms to work together.
For hardcore boxing fans, unfortunately, it’s commonplace to hear that “the business of the sport” has prevented some mouthwatering fight.
Currently, a potential Terence Crawford versus Errol Spence Jr showdown has fallen under this unsavory umbrella. Crawford has efficiently isolated himself with Top Rank, while Spence is running with the PBC outfit.
To this point neither faction has been able, or willing, to hammer out a deal to make this welterweight bout that the boxing world is in a frenzy for. The sport is full of scenarios such as this.
In his brief Q&A, Espinoza wanted to make it clear that Showtime, and most of the big boxing entities, were willing to play nice with the competition to make big events. The only major competitor that appears overly rigid on the matter remains DAZN.
“The jury is still out. We know HBO was willing to collaborate. We know UFC is willing to collaborate. We know ESPN is willing to collaborate on Wilder/Fury. We haven’t seen a situation where DAZN has collaborated or has even made a deal to collaborate.
“So the real question is, you know, who is the obstacle? Everyone seems able to make deals in collaboration with others and aren’t just talking the talk. The one place that isn’t going across the boards and crossing lines to make fights is DAZN.”
“So no, everyone in the business is doing cross-platform deals with other networks except one. So when a fight doesn’t happen, you’ve got to look at that and say, ‘where’s the real issue?’”
As the sport continues to flood network television, the demand for certain fights will only increase. It would be great, for fighters and fans, if the cold wars of the past could be put to rest.
While this sounds easy and ideal, historically, getting the larger promotional companies and large networks on the same page has always been difficult.
Let’s hope that we are entering into an era where this is not such a prevalent problem.
By: Bakari Simpson