Bob Arum leaves no doubt about his feelings on Showtime Sports head Stephen Espinoza, and says that the only way a Donaire vs Mares fight happens is if Top Rank promotes it on HBO.
Marcos Villegas, The Boxing Channel: "Speaking now of Donaire and Mares, people are hoping that both companies can work together. How would that work? Just you personally, if you could make that fight happen, and of course you want to make the fight happen, how would it work? What are your terms?"
Bob Arum: "Well, they'd have to come to us with how much money they want for themselves and for Mares, and hopefully we'd be able to make the match happen. But the match would be promoted by us, it would be on HBO, and people say, 'Well, why don't you put it up to bid?' Because we're not gonna deal with Showtime! Espinoza's a creep! He's tried to humiliate us. He doesn't return calls. He, to my mind, hasn't been honest with us. We don't want to deal with anybody like that.
"Why should we give a very big fight to an entity that's only disrespected us? This isn't like an HBO who may do fights with Top Rank, but also does fights with Golden Boy and other promoters. This is an entity, Showtime, that only deals with one promoter and has cut us out completely.
"Espinoza was the lawyer for Golden Boy. I didn't like him when he was the lawyer for Golden Boy. I never trusted him. I didn't like dealing with him. And he's even worse now that he's at Showtime. And that's really sad, because the people at Showtime are by and large very nice people.
"The guy, Matt Blank, who's the president of Showtime, is a lovely man. He might not do business with us. But he's invariably polite. He's a real mensch! But Espinoza is really somebody who I despise. I hope you got that."
Villegas: "Is it safe to say no more Top Rank fights on Showtime?"
Arum: "We will show you records of sending him 10 to 15 emails, none of which he responds to. He doesn't take our calls. So obviously, we're not going to deal with somebody like that, who has disrespected us, who is somebody that we don't trust, we have no faith in -- why would we deal with somebody like that? On the other hand, when you have HBO, and they've been nothing but open and fair with us, as they are with other promoters, the fight, Donaire and Mares, should be on HBO.
"Now remember this: Donaire's purses are over three times what Mares' purses are. The fight can be done next if Donaire beats Arce. But only if they'll accept the sum of money for Mares and themselves -- and they're entitled to money -- and we do the fight on HBO. Period, end of story, no more discussion."