Stephen Espinoza thought he would have Canelo Alvarez as one of his networks premier stars for years to come. Most of those expectations derived from a proposal given to him by Oscar De La Hoya for what he described as a "multi-year" deal. Clearly that proposal wasn't accepted quick enough as its now been reported that Canelo will be heading back to HBO. Now, Espinoza is accusing Oscar of being deceitful in his approach to signing Canelo to a network deal.
"Several weeks ago, Oscar came to us at Showtime with a multi-fight proposal on Canelo's behalf," Espinoza told RingTV.com on Tuesday. "It was a multi-year proposal that he said would keep Canelo at Showtime. It was a three-year deal, and it was a total of seven fights. The first fight was the Joshua Clottey fight. He said that that was the only fight that they would accept, and we accepted it.
"Oscar promised that Canelo would be at Showtime for years to come, and that he wouldn't be moving. He even said that he would arrange for Canelo to come out to Los Angeles and to have a celebratory dinner. Now, you fast-forward a few weeks, and he's reneged on those promises and hasn't offered any sort of explanation for doing that, not that there really could be any explanation or justification."
Oscar has since refuted Espinoza's claims offering the following explanation:
"No verbal agreement. I am obviously doing what Canelo is asking of me," said De La Hoya, whose organization's ties were severed by HBO in March 2013. "Canelo has expressed many months ago that he would love to explore the possibility of fighting on HBO, and as his promoter, I have to obviously do whatever is possible to grant his wishes.
"I obviously hope that this doesn't ruin any type of relationship. This is actually a great thing. This is a great thing for the sport of boxing, and this is a great thing for the fans. So I'm assuming and I'm hoping that it affects nothing."
I think most of this is sour grapes on Espinoza's behalf. I mean, realistically, it is De La Hoya's job to shop around to find the most lucrative deal for his prizefighter. Maybe Espinoza thought they had a handshake deal, but being an experienced executive means he should know that it doesn't mean anything until you have a signed piece of paper. Anyways, this is obviously good news for HBO as they had lost a lot of major star power in the last couple of years.