The polarising character that is Stephen Espinoza was on hand to offer his thoughts on a range of topics in the aftermath of last night’s final press conference for the monumental Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor fight.
The Showtime executive became an integral component of the promotional press tour across Los Angeles, Toronto, New York and London for the fight back in July. He grew into the unwanted role of an enemy to McGregor and endured verbal assault after verbal assault across the promotional extravaganza.
It is fair to say the term “weasel”, a nickname coined for Espinoza by the Irishman due to the cutting of his mic at the first leg of the media tour in LA as Mayweather unleashed his barrage of verbal onslaught, will stick with him for a long time.
Of course, another subplot to this entire tale is that fallout between Paulie Malignaggi, a Showtime boxing analyst and former sparring partner of Conor in this camp, and Team McGregor. Malignaggi was outraged when unflattering images of him from inside the training camp were released via social media, showing him laid out on the canvas with the UFC lightweight champion standing over him. He subsequently and sensationally quit the camp and has ever since been ranting in the media, criticising every aspect of not only Conor’s skills in the ring and approach to this fight, but taking personal jibes at the Dublin native.
The whole Malignaggi-McGregor narrative has captured the imagination of fans across the world almost as much as the small matter of the fight that goes down Saturday night. It would appear that all roads point towards a throw down between the pair in the future.
This would mean Paulie would have to come out of retirement and Conor would have another whole load of negotiating to do with the UFC. However, if the money was right, which we’re sure it would be, and McGregor makes it through Saturday night in non-disastrous fashion, we have no doubt this fight could take place.
A key man in seeing a super-fight like this over the line is the man who would be in charge of the broadcasting and pay-per-view corner, Espinoza, and he claims that he would be more than happy to have Showtime involved in the selling of McGregor vs Malignaggi some time next year.
The former two-time boxing world champion is an employee of Showtime and will be working as a commentator for May-Mac on Saturday night, with bosses at the station deeming him still suitable to deliver an unbiased opinion on the contest, despite his very public falling out with ‘The Notorious’.
Check out what Espinoza had to say when speaking to MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani last night:
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