The news made the rounds in the morning and afternoon. Bittersweet is maybe the best description of the take some of the Showtime folks had as they pondered the move, that parent company Paramount would be forging ahead, without boxing as part of the platform.
We’d heard that maybe 2024 would be the last year, that they’d do PPVs, presumably with OG partner Haymon Boxing/PBC. But no, the entire department is gone at the end of the year.
Espinoza Will Be Out, As Showtime Boxing Program Finishes The Year
That includes Showtime Boxing boss Stephen Espinoza, who has enjoyed (for him to say, but I’d guess overall he’d say enjoyed) an atypical lengthy time at this helm.
I still recall the first chat I had with him after he’d first been appointed, it was leading in to a Barclays Center show. He seemed unassuming, low key, intelligent, respectful, overall.
Nope, didn’t always love everything he did and they did, boxing was/is in a strange position in the coming-out-of-Floyd Mayweather era age. Hell, the world is.
Interesting, in that just yesterday (Oct 16), Espinoza had a “wait and see” air about the boxing program.
But, it seems as though Paramount is happy to have their CBS people produce sports, so change is coming. That always happens, like it or not.
All in all, you have to give Espinoza at Showtime Boxing a solid grade for stability amid an atmosphere of corporate instability.
Bottom lines, more than ever, spur decisions, and “our thing” is a niche product which is less easy to handle, to produce, than many titans and wizards have assumed coming in.
I will assume there will be new titans and wizards acquainting themselves with the strange, seedy, superlative sport that is boxing, long may it live, such as it is….