The Showtime executive’s comments came following reports that the network could pull away from boxing next year. Although that may be the case, Showtime has put on numerous successful events this year. The Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia fight sold over a reported 1.2 million pay-per-views. Meanwhile, the fight was the highest grossing gate of this year of close to $23 million.
This was also followed up by the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford fight that sold a reported 700,000 pay-per-views, while the fight produced $21 million in ticket sales. And with this being the third time this year that Showtime has produced a gate that will go over $20 million, Espinoza was pleased with how things were looking.
“The event on Saturday night will generate a gate of over $20 million. That’s a rare feat in combat sports. It’s rare in concerts or events of any kind. But this will be the third time in the last six months that we’ve done a gate [in excess] of $20 million. Again, our third $20 million gate in the last six months,” Espinoza said
The comments were also following Dana White’s recent criticism of the network in response to the reports that Showtime may exit boxing. The CEO of the UFC has been very vocal over his displeasure of the network, in particular its production, which has led White to entertain the idea of entering into boxing. So the news of Showtime’s potential exit was not met with any sympathy.
Dana White's response was dripping with sarcasm when asked about Showtime potentially leaving the boxing business 😬 pic.twitter.com/WOihsaCuSE
— MMA Fighting (@MMAFighting) September 27, 2023
“That’s incredibly unfortunate, Production of that show is fantastic, the guy who runs Showtime boxing is a great human being. It’s unfortunate to hear this. F*** Espinoza, and it’s about time that s***** product is off the air,” White
In a seeming response to those comments, Espinoza said.
“[The] UFC has never done a gate of $20 million in its entire history. We’ve done it three times since April. Like I said, this is special. This is different. There’s nothing else going on in combat sports that matches this type of event. We have to enjoy this event. We need to savor it. This is the best our sport has to offer,” Espinoza
Espinoza’s words did not sit well with White, who responded with some fiery words as things got personal. The UFC CEO chose to give credit to the fighters, who had drawn in the revenue as opposed to the production put on by Espinoza. And in doing so, White made the same retort that Conor McGregor had infamously made against Espinoza: ‘weasel.’
Dana White blasts back at Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza on Instagram today as he brands him a “weasel” and a “scumbag”… pic.twitter.com/YsQ522Xuxu
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) September 28, 2023
“That’s exactly the type of response I would expect from that Weasel Espinoza. That s***bag has absolutely nothing to do with the success of Canelo, Ryan Garcia, and Terence Crawford. Those guys are mega stars and they are the ones responsible for driving the gates in their fights.
“For him to even try and take any credit at all shows you exactly what an arrogant, delusional POS that guy is. For this clown to talk about ‘levels’ is hilarious. The production of the fights on Showtime is an embarrassment and I have been saying that FOREVER.
“He is a little guy with a BIG yap, and is a complete phony. I’m not at all surprised this is the end for them. It should have come way sooner. Sorry to see you go Weasel, enjoy your retirement,” White
Make sure you catch the fight live on FIGHTSPORTS MAX in the territories below.
Where And When
The card starts at 8pm ET. The ring walks for the main event should take place approximately at 11pm ET.
FIGHT SPORTS MAX:
India and Sub-Continent