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Espinoza goes to bat for Andre Berto

Showtime Stevie defends Andre Berto as a credible opponent selection for Floyd Mayweather, even if the rest of the world doesn't buy it.

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Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Showtime Sports executive Stephen Espinoza has been facing a ton of criticism with the recently announced Mayweather-Berto fight, scheduled for September. Taking heat certainly isn't anything new for Espinoza, especially if you've been following the boxing landscape for the last year plus, but the man's public comments and actions are often quite indicative of his distress level - and I can't be the only one to think he's terribly transparent.

Espinoza even elicited a few laughs out of me last night when prior to the start of yesterday's press conference he had the audacity to say the Berto was a credible choice for Floyd because there was only a very small pool of fighters ready and willing to fight Floyd. I mean seriously, that's the reason for Berto?! Isn't Mayweather the most attractive option for any fighter at or near his weight class?! Isn't that the reason everyone from middleweight on down call him out for a fight?! And you're going to tell us that it's because he was the best of a 'small pool?' Okay. It's no wonder Espinoza spent the better part of last night fending off twitter attacks from all-comers, causing some to show concern.

Anyway, I can't really blame Stevie for this one as he really didn't have much clout in making this decision, Floyd made this selection. So Espinoza just has to do his job to the best of his ability to sell this fight, and the man is sure trying his darndest.

"One thing we know about Andre Berto, he's never lacked for action. There's only one way he knows how to fight and that's all out aggressive.

"I've seen what Andre can do in the ring, I've seen him fight round after round. Fighters like Andre Berto will always be welcome because no one fights harder than Andre Berto."

Have you been persuaded into loving this fight yet? No? Well they still have five weeks to push the hard sell.

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