Showtime’s Espinoza Responds To Canelo/HBO Deal, Takes Aim At De La Hoya

So after five fights on Showtime, during which time he has become CANELO, a guy who can carry a pay-per-view, Canelo Alvarez has jumped ship, back to the HBO barge.

This has to stand as a blow to the suits at Showtime, who, while they do own the services of the industry leader, Floyd Mayweather, have been making up ground on HBO, which has been their ratings superior since the two premium cablers have been pugilistic sparring partners.

The thing is, up until yesterday, according to Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza, the Sho crew thought they were in the running to sign Alvarez, the 24-year-old Mexican with the J Crew looks and the throwback mindset, of wanting to test himself against the best possible foes.

“This doesn’t really come as a surprise, as Oscar De La Hoya (head of Golden Boy Promotions) has been talking openly about having Canelo fight Miguel Cotto on HBO for awhile, I’d say he’s been contemplating this a couple months,” Espinoza explained on Tuesday afternoon. “But there is a disappointing aspect in that the whole situation was done in a deceitful manner, the way Oscar went about this.”

Three weeks ago, Espinoza explained, Oscar came to Showtime, furnishing a longterm deal, a multi-fight agreement, for Canelo and Golden Boy. “We agreed to it,” Espinoza said. “He promised Canelo would be staying. Now, he reneged on those promises, and hasn’t offered anything like an explanation.”

OK, to be fair, did he take your offer over to HBO boxing boss Ken Hershman, the former Showtime boxing boss, and said, meet it and beat it? If that is what Oscar did, Espinoza said, that would be a fair business practice. But that is not what he did, Espinoza iterated to me. “Oscar said, here’s the proposal, we agreed…that makes a deal.”

How certain was Espinoza, who has a long-standing relationship with Oscar, being that he worked as legal counsel for them, that he had a Canelo extension wrapped up?

“We offered to have Canelo fly in (to New York) for a celebratory dinner,” he said.

As of yesterday, Espinoza thought he was still in the game for the services of the kid whose initial foray headlining PPV events earned him numbers on par with Oscar and Mayweather’s first PPV headliners and who was half of the highest grossing PPV event of all time.

He’d agreed to Joshua Clottey (age 36; 38-4 record; has fought four times in the last four years) as the next for Canelo (44-1-1; only loss to Floyd Mayweather Sept. 2013), reluctantly, being that Clottey has been woefully lacking in activity.

“Early in the process, we didn’t view Clottey as a credible opponent,” Espinoza said. “And we didn’t think he was worth the $4 million fee Oscar was looking for.”

HBO, by the way, is a familiar landing place for the red head. He fought on their air seven times on his way up the ladder, the last time against Shane Mosley in May 2012.

This turn of events leaves Espinoza “puzzled,” he told me, and now wanting a true-blue explanation from Oscar on his recent activity, which was preceded by the promoter’s delivery of Bernard Hopkins back to HBO, for a Nov. 8 fight with Sergey Kovalev.

Note: I reached out to a rep for Oscar, and requested a timely response, for his reaction, should he choose to give one. I will insert that if and when he responds.

I think there is some disappointment in Sho minds today. They get business, but also believe they worked their tail off for the kid, with multiple All Access series featuring the redhead, believe they did a quite robust Hispanic marketing in print ads, TV commercials, etc to a nationwide audience. They are proud of the outreach they did in sharing All Access with Spanish language TV networks, Univision last year, Fox Deportes this year, as well.

“We have a deep roster of stars, and a wide variety of other top-notch sports programming,” Espinoza stated. “We view ourselves as the industry leader in premium cable and on pay-per-view and we look forward to building on that foundation for many years to come.”

And does that foundation include, moving forward, doing deals with De La Hoya, who wrested control of his company back from Richard Schaefer months ago, after getting clean and sober and re-finding his passion for the business, as well as a clear head?

“It’s a valid question to ask,” said Espinoza. “We’re looking forward to putting together the best fights, and whoever gives us the best talent, we’ll go that route.”

My takeaway, partially from reading in between the lines: Espinoza won’t shut the door on doing deals with Oscar, but the rules on their engagement have changed now. The dealings, I think, have to be more formal, more inclusive of methods to cover oneself, more likely to include a contract, whereas before a handshake might have sufficed.

Bottom lining it; we still have a cold war here, but the players have shifted some, and the alliances are in flux.

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COMMENTS

-deepwater2 :

"Early in the process, we didn't view Clottey as a credible opponent," Espinoza said. HAHA what a funny thing to read after a long day of work. That Espinoza sure can crack a good joke. That guy thinks credible opponents are: Rod Salka, Manuel Roman, a shot Angulo, Quillin's last few opponents, E Taylor etc etc clottey might not be the best but at least he is the top 10 in the world. Lost to cotto and Pac but stayed on his feet against both and just whitewashed Mundine. At least Clottey is a tough guy with a pulse. The redhead was with HBO before Showtime so its nothing new. Good job HBO


-brownsugar :

Canelo is safer with HBO. Similar to the extremely careful Adonis Stevenson and Quillen at Showtime it makes more sense for Canelo to go to HBO where he can be relatively safe from the challenge of an extremely deep junior middleweight division bursting at the seams with the rising prospects of the Charlo Brothers, Julian Williams and a host of other promising contenders. And he still never asked to rematch Mayweather. The only question is.....how long can he resist the challenge of GGG who is also with HBO and save face at the same time? Canelo cannot fight his growth hormones as easily as a shot Angulo..... as soon as he rises up to middleweight WHERE at least a half a dozen 160 pounders on either side of Showtime and HBO will be lining on his doorstep hoping to pop the red heads cherry. A fighters life is interesting to say the least.


-deepwater2 :

Canelo is safer with HBO. Similar to the extremely careful Adonis Stevenson and Quillen at Showtime it makes more sense for Canelo to go to HBO where he can be relatively safe from the challenge of an extremely deep junior middleweight division bursting at the seams with the rising prospects of the Charlo Brothers, Julian Williams and a host of other promising contenders. And he still never asked to rematch Mayweather. The only question is.....how long can he resist the challenge of GGG who is also with HBO and save face at the same time? Canelo cannot fight his growth hormones as easily as a shot Angulo..... as soon as he rises up to middleweight WHERE at least a half a dozen 160 pounders on either side of Showtime and HBO will be lining on his doorstep hoping to pop the red heads cherry. A fighters life is interesting to say the least.
I see more opportunity for Canelo at HBO. The Charlo brothers and other contenders don't have a big name yet and will take longer to get there. Canelo has Clottey,Kirkland,Cotto and Andrade to keep busy. He also says he wants Pac at 154.OK. Ill watch that one.


-deepwater2 :

Even though I am not Canelo's biggest fan you can't compare him to "drop the belt" Quillin or "run away from Kovalev and Hopkins " Stevenson. Canelo takes on top risky guys. GGG can happen down the road. What a superfight that will be! And it won't need fake weed,fake sparring or a fake fight t to try and sell that fight.


-Froggy :

I would watch Pacman vs Canelo also, but I think there is less chance of that than Manny vs Floyd ! I don't think Mayweather will fight Pacquiao, period !


-The Commish :

"We didn't view Clottey as a credible opponent," says Stephen Espinoza. But Showtime accepted Rod Salka as a credible opponent for Danny Garcia. Exactly who is the Showtime "expert" approving and rejecting these bouts. Looks like it's time to tell him/her "bye bye." As far as Oscar de la Hoya is concerned, he has said, on many occasions, "I don't need a signature when I do business. I work on handshakes." Yeh, right! -Randy G.


-oubobcat :

What comes around goes around, right. It was well reported in January/February the deal that HBO worked to match Stevenson and Kovalev in the fall. Then Al Haymon got involved with Stevenson, there was nothing in writing formally (just handshake/e-mail agreements) and Mr. Espinoza was more than happy to present an offer for Stevenson. He saw it as a smart business move and a way to get Showtime a big high profile fight themselves in the fall between Stevenson and Hopkins and hurt his main rival at the same time. What goes around comes around.


-SouthPaul :

I know its business but I can't help to think Oscar de La Hoya being a disloyal snake and I'm guessing his old comrades Richard and Stephen think the same of him. These cats seem to have Oscar's back at his most down and out time when he was wearing lingere & boozing it up in So Cal hotel rooms then off to his rehab stint. Seems to me some sort of Judas move on Oscar's part. Business or not...its grimy.


-Froggy :

I know its business but I can't help to think Oscar de La Hoya being a disloyal snake and I'm guessing his old comrades Richard and Stephen think the same of him. These cats seem to have Oscar's back at his most down and out time when he was wearing lingere & boozing it up in So Cal hotel rooms then off to his rehab stint. Seems to me some sort of Judas move on Oscar's part. Business or not...its grimy.
Good thing for boxing Oscar is a "disloyal snake" ! The only one in the business EH ?


-SouthPaul :

Actually, yea, I totally agree. Good thing about slivering snakes like Oscar it makes for interesting news and future boxing matches. I'm jonesin' hard to see that Cotto vs Canelo match up..... so crawl Oscar craw to the other side!!!! Lol.


-deepwater2 :

yeah if you call having his back - trying to steal his company and the CEO signing all of the fighters to tsAH and not GBP then those two had his back. if you think the swiss banker wasn't hanging out with the girls with Oscar then you have never seen him at a boxing match a few years back.


-brownsugar :

Oscar has proven to be both cunning resourceful and resilient. He got kicked off HBO and ended up making Showtime more competitive and nearly equal in status. Then he mends the fence with Top Rank's Bob Arum...and HBO When Schaefer wanted nothing more than to squash him like a cockroach. And now that the cash cow money train called Mayweather has taken a few heavy hits..Oscar already had plan B in motion to take over (Canelo) Mayweather need not be surprised.... How many times did Floyd say " F%$k Oscar" publically even though Oscar was his defacto promoter when he had the public stage. Oscar kept a low profile but he was always going to strike back. Oscar understands business and is not above saying "please, thank you, and I'm sorry" publically. Yet he's capable of making quick transitions when necessary. And apparently he's very good with a dagger. I hate that the business of boxing has taken a higher profile than the fighters to the point where fans join sides and attack each other for their percieved allegiance's Reminds me of Ford vs Chevy or XBOX vs PlayStation. Its silly but there were some lethal confrontations in those disagreements. Where is boxings version of Jim McMahon when you need him.... A fighting Manager? Just deliver the good fights.... I don't discriminate.... I'll watch them on Showtime ..HBO or NBC. or on the TSS lol.... Let the promoters battle off camera.


-SouthPaul :

Oscar became a huge liability for his own company doing all sorts of outlandish emabarassing nonsense while guys like Richard Schaefer were grinding out the day to day operations of what has become the top promotional company in the sport. So, imo, Nothing has been stolen away from Oacar, if anything, it was his own mishaps that cost him any leverage. Oscar has a lovely smile but business acumen for business acumen ... He ain't got nothing on the Swiss Banker. And I'd be totally disappointed to know Richard wasn't getting his female play but I don't ever recall seeing pics of him wearing lingere and fishnets while fisting it up with a pair of eight ounce Reyes gloves on. Lmfao.


-deepwater2 :

Oscar became a huge liability for his own company doing all sorts of outlandish emabarassing nonsense while guys like Richard Schaefer were grinding out the day to day operations of what has become the top promotional company in the sport. So, imo, Nothing has been stolen away from Oacar, if anything, it was his own mishaps that cost him any leverage. Oscar has a lovely smile but business acumen for business acumen ... He ain't got nothing on the Swiss Banker. And I'd be totally disappointed to know Richard wasn't getting his female play but I don't ever recall seeing pics of him wearing lingere and fishnets while fisting it up with a pair of eight ounce Reyes gloves on. Lmfao.
That is a gross thought. Who knows what the Swiss banker or tsAh do, but I don't want to know. Oscar hired the guy and brought him into the boxing world ,just because the boss goes on medical leave its OK to shift assets away from the company? That's a snake thing to do, and the reason why the Swiss banker is getting sued for 50 million and will have tsAH pay a settlemet to release him from the contract/lawsuit. If the CEO of the company I work for leaves for some personal reason, I am going to refer people/customers to the company down the block where I will get a cut. Lets see how that works out.


-SouthPaul :

Yea, let's see how it works out. I'm stacking my betting chips on Schaefer of being the more genuinely, trustworthy and stable minded of the two. Oscar's the face but its the Swiss Banker with the brains and more business substance. What Oscar is doing is very common while fighting the disease of substance abuse. Hes now trying too hard and overcompensating with his amends. Repairing one relationship... while destroying another. Oscar's unstable. I'm betting on consistency. Swiss Banker by ko!


-Froggy :

Yea, let's see how it works out. I'm stacking my betting chips on Schaefer of being the more genuinely, trustworthy and stable minded of the two. Oscar's the face but its the Swiss Banker with the brains and more business substance. What Oscar is doing is very common while fighting the disease of substance abuse. Hes now trying too hard and overcompensating with his amends. Repairing one relationship... while destroying another. Oscar's unstable. I'm betting on consistency. Swiss Banker by ko!
I wouldn't trust the fat prick Swiss Banker as far as I could throw him ! What has he ever done to make anyone think he was/is trustworthy ? I hope him and tsAH team up and disappear !


-SouthPaul :

I don't get why you guys are so hard on Al Haymon. He's damn near the perfect manager, advisor. Working the deals behind the closed doors keeping his mug unseen, which is where he should be, while the fighters do their thing under the bright lights of championship boxing/prize fighting. Radam Please explain to everyone the definition of prize fighting.


-riverside :

Yea, let's see how it works out. I'm stacking my betting chips on Schaefer of being the more genuinely, trustworthy and stable minded of the two. Oscar's the face but its the Swiss Banker with the brains and more business substance. What Oscar is doing is very common while fighting the disease of substance abuse. Hes now trying too hard and overcompensating with his amends. Repairing one relationship... while destroying another. Oscar's unstable. I'm betting on consistency. Swiss Banker by ko!
Schaefer just about looted his employer, if you aren't loyal to the hand that feeds, you need to be liable of your conduct. Oscar is a fighter and a smart one, and a proven winner! Schaefer was given the opportunity to run up and start Golden Boy from the beginning, but just like bill Gates and Zuckerberg it's more of timing, being and doing the right thing at the right time, Guarantee you if Gates and Zuckerberg and Swiss banker were never born, some other cat would of done the same job or better. just saying the more likely to succeed here is Oscar.


-Froggy :

don't get why you guys are so hard on Al Haymon. He's damn near the perfect manager, advisor. Working the deals behind the closed doors keeping his mug unseen, which is where he should be, while the fighters do their thing under the bright lights of championship boxing/prize fighting. Radam Please explain to everyone the definition of prize fighting.
If I was a "prize fighter" and wanted the biggest reward with the smallest risk Al Haymon would be my man ! But I am just a boxing fan, so tell me straight up is AH good for boxing or not ?


-deepwater2 :

I don't get why you guys are so hard on Al Haymon. He's damn near the perfect manager, advisor. Working the deals behind the closed doors keeping his mug unseen, which is where he should be, while the fighters do their thing under the bright lights of championship boxing/prize fighting. Radam Please explain to everyone the definition of prize fighting.
tsAH, adviser/manager/promoter,Espinoza's boss, might be good for some boxer's bank accounts but do you think he is doing them a favor by hurting their brand? When the sanctioning bodies wont even put their belts up and Quillin dumps his championship belt its not a good look.Garcia and Quillin are examples of boxers bleeding fans because of weak fights. You are right though I am glad tsAH keeps his mug unseen. So that's good. Why not put out press releases or do aradio interview? THe Commish and Shadow would go easy on him if he calls in.


-deepwater2 :

Yea, let's see how it works out. I'm stacking my betting chips on Schaefer of being the more genuinely, trustworthy and stable minded of the two. Oscar's the face but its the Swiss Banker with the brains and more business substance. What Oscar is doing is very common while fighting the disease of substance abuse. Hes now trying too hard and overcompensating with his amends. Repairing one relationship... while destroying another. Oscar's unstable. I'm betting on consistency. Swiss Banker by ko!
I'm betting that Oscar is smart enough to hire the right people and will be OK.He is building bridges and making fights for the fans. tsAH is making his own boxing league with a union, led by one dictator that gives no interviews and stay in the shadows.


-SouthPaul :

I think we the members of TSS should start up our own promotional company. Deep Water Promotions. You'll be the majority stock holder of the company. Radam's the flamboyant mouthy match maker. I envision him wearing an all pink suit with a hot pink matching fedora. The Shadow- CEO. Like Al, he'll conduct all business from an unspecified location. Not even Deep Water as the majority owner will know where he conducts all his magic.. which eventually will cause riff between the two. More on that another time. Brown Sugar, he'll be mentor and spiritual leader to all our roster. The black Buddha of Deep Water promotions. He'll say things like .. You gotta swim without getting wet. The Roast's going to be responsible for watching and breaking down fight film. Amyseng, heads up our security. Why? Former baseball player .... Swings that bat well! Heads will definitely roll. Just like the Babe he'll point out his home run before even taking a swing. I envision his first tee off to be Leonard Ellerbre. What are we missing ? Help me.


-deepwater2 :

I think we the members of TSS should start up our own promotional company. Deep Water Promotions. You'll be the majority stock holder of the company. Radam's the flamboyant mouthy match maker. I envision him wearing an all pink suit with a hot pink matching fedora. The Shadow- CEO. Like Al, he'll conduct all business from an unspecified location. Not even Deep Water as the majority owner will know where he conducts all his magic.. which eventually will cause riff between the two. More on that another time. Brown Sugar, he'll be mentor and spiritual leader to all our roster. The black Buddha of Deep Water promotions. He'll say things like .. You gotta swim without getting wet. The Roast's going to be responsible for watching and breaking down fight film. Amyseng, heads up our security. Why? Former baseball player .... Swings that bat well! Heads will definitely roll. Just like the Babe he'll point out his home run before even taking a swing. I envision his first tee off to be Leonard Ellerbre. What are we missing ? Help me.
I like it! I am going to pay Amyseng under the table to keep an eye on Shadow so he doesn't get any funny ideas or bring in any strippers to get me in a honey trap.


-riverside :

Lol need somebody to bank roll us , count us in


-Radam G :

Hehehe! You guys are wilding! But I can dig it! Ain't a darn thing FUNNY! It is always about da MONEY. And you better have it to in this world of milk and HONEY. Holla!


-SouthPaul :

Lmfao@the honey trap comment. You'll never catch up to The Shadow. He'll have a lookalike and a team of drivers zooming and dashing him from one safe house to the next. Mini cars, skateboards and pogo sticks as transportation. Riverside will run our Inland Empire division. Think Golden Boy East but in the reverse. His office is the 215 Strip Club in Colton California.


-riverside :

Lmfao@the honey trap comment. You'll never catch up to The Shadow. He'll have a lookalike and a team of drivers zooming and dashing him from one safe house to the next. Mini cars, skateboards and pogo sticks as transportation. Riverside will run our Inland Empire division. Think Golden Boy East but in the reverse. His office is the 215 Strip Club in Colton California.
Now I can't stop laughing, that was the secret hang out of the former police chief. Few years back he got drunk there and drove home in wee hours, on the way home he ran into a tree and wreck his city issued vehicle. Callers called 911 of a car running into a tree, the responding officer were shock to find out the driver is there Boss!! the chief was not seriously injured, just bruised up a bit. the officer call thier commander, The watch commander on duty ordered the officers to take the chief home and had his car towed. few day later the cover up was blown, chief bruised up and his car is wrecked? people can put two things together? well the chief was fired, and the watch commander reprimanded, I think he was demoted. 215 strip club headquarter of deep water promotion west. LOL


-amayseng :

I think we the members of TSS should start up our own promotional company. Deep Water Promotions. You'll be the majority stock holder of the company. Radam's the flamboyant mouthy match maker. I envision him wearing an all pink suit with a hot pink matching fedora. The Shadow- CEO. Like Al, he'll conduct all business from an unspecified location. Not even Deep Water as the majority owner will know where he conducts all his magic.. which eventually will cause riff between the two. More on that another time. Brown Sugar, he'll be mentor and spiritual leader to all our roster. The black Buddha of Deep Water promotions. He'll say things like .. You gotta swim without getting wet. The Roast's going to be responsible for watching and breaking down fight film. Amyseng, heads up our security. Why? Former baseball player .... Swings that bat well! Heads will definitely roll. Just like the Babe he'll point out his home run before even taking a swing. I envision his first tee off to be Leonard Ellerbre. What are we missing ? Help me.
Gotta give SP credit this is hilarious


-amayseng :

Lmfao@the honey trap comment. You'll never catch up to The Shadow. He'll have a lookalike and a team of drivers zooming and dashing him from one safe house to the next. Mini cars, skateboards and pogo sticks as transportation. Riverside will run our Inland Empire division. Think Golden Boy East but in the reverse. His office is the 215 Strip Club in Colton California.
"pogo sticks" hahahaha I literally laughed out loud


-brownsugar :

I think we the members of TSS should start up our own promotional company. Deep Water Promotions. You'll be the majority stock holder of the company. Radam's the flamboyant mouthy match maker. I envision him wearing an all pink suit with a hot pink matching fedora. The Shadow- CEO. Like Al, he'll conduct all business from an unspecified location. Not even Deep Water as the majority owner will know where he conducts all his magic.. which eventually will cause riff between the two. More on that another time. Brown Sugar, he'll be mentor and spiritual leader to all our roster. The black Buddha of Deep Water promotions. He'll say things like .. You gotta swim without getting wet. The Roast's going to be responsible for watching and breaking down fight film. Amyseng, heads up our security. Why? Former baseball player .... Swings that bat well! Heads will definitely roll. Just like the Babe he'll point out his home run before even taking a swing. I envision his first tee off to be Leonard Ellerbre. What are we missing ? Help me.
Funniest and most creative stuff I've read all day.... SP returns exhibiting zero ring rust.