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Stephen Espinoza On Spence-Crawford Negotiations: “I Am Still Optimistic That It Gets Done”

By: Sean Crose

“I don’t think it’s dead or close to dead,” Showtime honcho Stephen Espinoza has told Fight Hype about negotiations for a Terence Crawford-Errol Spence welterweight superfight. “Were a little bit stuck,” he admits in the interview, “but I don’t think anyone’s ready to throw in the towel, least of all the two fighters.” The fact that both WBO champion Crawford and WBC, IBF, and WBA champion Spence both want the match to be made is a relief to fans, who have long waited for this showdown to happen. “There’s some slow going,” Espinoza admits to FightHype, “but the discussions are still ongoing.”

Being an employee of Showtime, which would most likely be the force behind the pay per view side of a Spence-Crawford fight, Espinoza makes it clear that he has to be somewhat tight lipped about matters. “I wish I could share more,” he says, “because I know there’s a lot of interest, but I don’t want to be the guy who blows it up.”

Considering this bout been craved by fans for about forever and a day, it’s understandable that people would go frustrated and the incredibly slow pace of things. Still, Espinoza expresses confidence in the interview. “I am still optimistic that it gets done,” he says. “I still think that it is very, very possible to get that done this year.” Espinoza goes on to inform FightHype that Crawford-Spence is a fight worth grinding for. “We’re going to continue to try to make that,” he says. “If it dies, we’re going to try to revive it…both fighters are one hundred percent convinced that this is the fight that makes sense.”

The welterweight division has historically been one of the most intruiging in the sport, with such names as Leonard, Duran, Hearns, De La Hoya, Mayweather, Pacquiao and others dominating over the past fifty years. A bout between Spence and Crawford, both undefeated, would indicate that there is a definite welterweight king of this era, as Mayweather was for the most recent era, and Oscar De La Hoya was for the one before that.

Still, modern boxing can be incredibly complex and frustrating. Mayweather’s bout with Manny Pacquiao, for instance, was a welterweight battle that’s considered to have gone down years after its sell-by date. Hopefully the same doesn’t happen to the division’s current top duo. The fighters, the fans, and the sport itself deserves much better.

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