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Stephen Espinoza calls Conor Benn’s failed test and Matchroom’s attempt to save fight an embarrassment to boxing

The Showtime executive says the circumstances surrounding Conor Benn’s failed drug test makes the entire sport look bad.

Stephen Espinoza shares his thoughts on the fallout from Conor Benn’s failed drug test that forced the postponement of the fight.
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 spent some time talking to Fight Hub TV about the late cancellation of Chris Eubank Jr vs Conor Benn after Benn tested positive for a banned substance. Espinoza says it was disgraceful the way Matchroom initially attempted to move the fight forward and says it’s these kinds of things that continue to hurt the sport. Check out some of what Espinoza had to say on the topic below.

Espinoza on Matchroom trying to continue with Eubank Jr vs Benn after the failed drug test was revealed

“I think it’s actually indefensible to pretend like this is a non-issue and pretend like this is something that should go forward because of procedural issues. At the end of the day, you can’t paint both sides of the fence. You can’t say when it works in your favor VADA is great and you can’t say when it works against you that VADA is something that should be ignored.

“The reality is it’s stuff like this that prevents the sport from growing even more and puts an undue risk on the fighters. I think it’s indefensible and an embarrassment to the sport.”

On if he believes Matchroom was strictly motivated by money in their attempt to keep the fight on

“I can’t see any other M.O. It certainly wasn’t safety...we’ve had our own situations where there was issues of contamination, there were low trace levels — there wasn’t any discussion of that. I don’t know what the levels are, nobody does other than a few small people, but there was a very fierce defense and supposedly a huge lawsuit coming in the fight.

“But for reason I’m not at liberty to discuss it was clear they were never gonna do that because if you go forward with that kind of lawsuit then a lot of other information comes out and people see the truth. At a certain point I think it’s a black eye on the sport, at least that portion of the sport and the people who were involved in that part of it.”

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