With a lot of talk gearing up for what could be a big lightweight fight between Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia, here Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza gave his thoughts on possibly running a dual platform PPV for that fight.
Espinoza makes it clear here that he doesn’t have all that much interested in engaging DAZN in talks to make this fight, believing it can be made without the streaming platform’s involvement since Ryan Garcia doesn’t appear to be signed to an exclusive contract with the company. He also takes some subtle jabs about how DAZN has tried to scoop his fighters in the past, and says now the tables have seemingly turned.
“Ryan Garcia’s not exclusive to DAZN,” Espinoza told Dan Canobbio. “I know Golden Boy is, but the reality is it’s an interesting and ironic change of events. They’ve spent three years trying to go around us to get to every fighter that we have. Now, all the sudden, they’ve figured out, ‘Hey, let’s go to them.’ Look, I don’t think that we need two platforms in this. I don’t. I think there are plenty of other ways that are fair to resolve this.
“Golden Boy has a deal with DAZN, I don’t think Ryan Garcia personally has a deal with DAZN. I’m not an expert on that sort of aspect of it but it’s not as if they’ve signed Ryan Garcia to an exclusive contract. I mean, DAZN repeatedly said, ‘Hey, we’re going to Deontay Wilder, and we went to the Charlos, we went to Danny Garcia, we went to Thurman — it’s all these guys because they aren’t signed exclusive to Showtime, so why would we need to go to Showtime?’ Well, you know, shoe is on the other foot now — why would we need to go to DAZN when DAZN hasn’t signed Ryan exclusively?”
Espinoza’s comments would catch the attention of DAZN’s executive vice president Joe Markowski, who posted a public response to what Espinoza had to say.
“We don’t do our business publicly. Never have,” Markowski posted. “In this case, an exception: respectfully, you are incorrect on this point but (per my emails) we want to make a fair deal with you for this fight. Please call or email me back and let’s discuss.”
The pettiness between platforms is likely to only increase from here, but regardless of which networks end up being involved going forward, let’s just hope we get some more big lightweight matchups in the works.