Why Was Mike Coppinger Denied Spence-Crawford Press Pass?



Why Was Mike Coppinger Denied Spence-Crawford Press Pass?

Mike Coppinger, widely acknowledged as the top boxing reporter in the US, will not be attending the Terence Crawford vs Errol Spence card in Las Vegas Saturday evening.

The former USA Today, Ring and The Athletic media member requested but was denied a credential to cover from a ringside.

On Friday afternoon, the NY Post ran story which alleged that Showtime and Premier Boxing Champions, the production platform and main promotional entity, blocked the content creator from being up close with media access privileges to view the welterweight fight between Spence and Crawford.

Mike Coppinger became part of the news on July 28, 2023

I reached out to Coppinger, who said yes, he had been denied a credential. He said he couldn’t comment on the matter.

An ESPN PR spokesperson told me that the Post story was accurate, from the ESPN perspective.


The Post story lacked specifics, such as “why” this move was put into motion. I requested insight from Showtime and was told that
PBC denied the request, this wasn’t a Showtime decision.

Does Showtime have a stance on the issue, have a feeling about the curious choice to rebuff the industry’s media lead dog? “No comment” was the reply.

Promoter Tom Brown verified that Tim Smith, ex media (NY Times, NY Daily News) himself, would be the preferred PBC contact to try and gain clarity on this slap.

A Friday email to Smith from this reporter wasn’t answered.

Mike Coppinger has plenty of followers but yes, he has his share of detractors as well. Did he do something recently to draw the ire of PBC, the Al Haymon construct?

Or was it payback for a past perceived slight? Sources aren’t saying, not publicly anyway.

Some commenters on social media platforms initially wondered if this wasn’t part of a territorial pissing contest between media behemoths, with Showtime and PBC engaging in some sharp-bladed battling, against ESPN.

An ESPN source told me no, they weren’t pulling stories or blowing off event coverage because ESPN has a partnership arrangement with Top Rank.

Mike Coppinger memorably beefed with Top Rank bossman Bob Arum.

Some onlookers sorting out this inside baseball media matter would probably understand if their Oct 2021 verbal tussle spurred lingering feelings of enmity, arguing that a credential request denial from their office would seem to make sense on surface.

But no, this minor mystery is playing out with no clear impetus, with no involvement Arum, it looks like. Basically, sources know, but aren’t saying aloud.

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.