Espinoza Wants To Believe Arum On Wilder-Fury II
Top Rank founder, Bob Arum, wants Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury’s rematch to happen and Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza wants to believe him.
Espinoza, who has had a litany of barbs thrown at him by Arum the past few years, finds it hard to believe that Fury will face Wilder in a rematch of their 2018 classic after Fury fights Tom Schwarz this June.
The two were dead set on a rematch for this spring until Fury signed an agreement in February with Top Rank and ESPN, leaving Wilder to face WBC mandatory Dominic Breazeale on May 18th at Barclays Center.
“Conceptually and theoretically, it’s very possible,” Espinoza said of a rematch later this year. “The question is one of intent, because I’ve heard [Arum] say that there are other fights he’s interested in – Crawford-Spence or Lomachenko-Garcia – and he’s done nothing to advance those. Not a single phone call, not a single attempt to make those fights, other than talking about them publicly.
“So really, it’s not difficult, and I do believe [Arum] wants it. If he says it, until he proves differently, I’ll believe it. But what would be much more convincing than him saying it is to actually act on it and take steps to make any of those fights happen – whether it’s the Fury rematch or any of other big fights.”
“There will be some appreciation that this fight is not on pay-per-view, and that was important to Deontay,” Espinoza said of Wilder and Breazeale airing on Showtime on May 18th. “It required a financial commitment from our network, which we were happy to make – a significant financial commitment. But I think what some of the reaction will be is it creates obstacles toward getting the big fights.
“And certainly, if Deontay would’ve signed with one of these other platforms, maybe you might have seen one of those fights down the line. I don’t think that it means that it’ll be that much harder to get a Fury rematch if [Wilder is] not with ESPN. It’s still eminently doable. What this means is it’s going to take some more work, not that it’s out of the question. But it’s just going to take additional negotiation.”
Initial Report: Boxing Scene