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SHOWTIME’s Stephen Espinoza Shuts Down Conor McGregor Following PPV Buys Dispute

SHOWTIME’s executive vice-president shut down Dana White and now Conor McGregor following their claims that the network altered the official pay-per-view buyrate of August’s Mayweather/McGregor fight.

It’s been months since the circus surrounding the record-breaking boxing matchup between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor ended but still, the shadow cast by the event looms large over the world of combat sports.

UFC president Dana White made his way into the headlines recently after claiming that SHOWTIME had altered the official PPV buyrate of the May/Mac fight, preserving the record of 2015’s showdown between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao while also revealing that he ‘despised’ working with the network during the pre-fight build-up.

“When we did the Mayweather fight, I watched, I took it all in. I just think the guys promoting boxing today are bad at it. I don’t think they do a good job, and I think I can do better. Sounds arrogant, but it’s the truth. I think I can do a better job than these guys do.

“Think about this, and I don’t give a shit about SHOWTIME’s full of shit press release they put out, [Mayweather/McGregor] is the biggest fight ever in combat sports history. The thing did over 6.7 million buys, and if the service didn’t drop, we would have gotten closer to 7 million. It was the biggest boxing event ever, without a boxer. There was only one boxer involved.

“The way that they handled that press release and what they did? I didn’t trust them before, and now I despise those fucking guys. The SHOWTIME guys, I’ll never work with them again. Ever.”

SHOWTIME’s executive vice-president Stephen Espinoza was quick to point out that all parties had verified the numbers and that – according to him –  there is no possible way that the buyrate could have been doctored.

The man responsible for one-half of the action witnessed on August 26, Conor McGregor, chimed in then, calling Espinoza a ‘weasel’ – as he so famously did during the May/Mac world tour – before doubling down on Dana’s claims, telling him that they had broken the global record set by Mayweather/Pacquiao.

Illegal streaming most certainly made sure that Mayweather/McGregor was the most-watched combat sports event of all-time but still, Espinoza hit back at McGregor, telling him that they didn’t manage to break the global record, as far as official numbers are concerned.

It’s hard to know exactly who to side with here, both parties have their own reasons for preserving their own dignity but still, with us now settling into 2018, expect to hear less-and-less about the ‘Money Fight’ as the year goes on.

Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena

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Author: Cillian Cunningham

Lead mixed martial arts writer who can be contacted at [email protected]