Boxing fans on a popular social media platform have been sitting back, munching on the virtual popcorn and enjoying a full-scale Twitter war between boxing powerhouses Stephen Espinoza and Eddie Hearn. Showtime Sports President Espinoza opened the warfare when he weighed in with his version of why contract negotiations between his charge Deontay Wilder and Hearn’s cash cow Anthony Joshua ultimately failed. “Contract was sent, and Matchroom saw it. The contract said Sky got the UK rights,” explained Espinoza. Next comment, no messing, Eddie threw a counter shot of: “Stone cold lies.”
Espinoza cut his teeth in the boxing game as a lawyer (with Oscar De La Hoya and Mike Tyson among the clientele) so it is likely his grasp on the situation would be on the money, so to speak. Imagine the amount of small print, sophistry and general bullshit he would have had to contend with while representing a variety of pugilistic clients in contractual matters.
Eddie’s strengths, meanwhile, lie in his ability to communicate a compelling message and use the media to his advantage. Hearn’s position as lord of boxing in the UK is pretty much unrivalled. His American takeover, however, with Matchroom USA and DAZN has stuttered. America is the land of promotional boxing giants where TV network heavyweights put on mega-events featuring the likes of Canelo and Floyd Mayweather. Stephen Espinoza is in that club. If in association with the likes of Shelly Finkel and Al Haymon, he says he can raise $50million as required then that claim is to be believed.
With his head on the chopping block, Eddie drafted in a gif (of himself) to prove a point, but was not alone in the fight as several Matchroom FC loyalists went in to bat for the under-fire UK kingpin. Shame that his biggest hitter, Anthony Joshua, didn’t take to Twitter to add some much-needed muscle to his gaffer’s battle. AJ is more concerned with the intense beef his next opponent is bringing to the table. So far, Jarrell Miller has brought Joshua’s mother and PED accusations to the party, so he is more than doing his fair share of trash talking to spice up the promotion and add a few extra pay-per-view purchases the balance sheet.
As for the main protagonists in this warm-up bout, the Hearn/Espinoza disagreement even descended into details of contracts. That encouraged more semantic bickering, and it was a shame that Tyson Fury was not on hand to just release a screenshot of the contract itself so we could put an end to the madness.
All in all the whole sorry (yet entertaining) affair at least provided the type of back and forth action that has been lacking from Sky Sports’ offerings this season. While matters in the ring may have prompted Sky’s main boxing bod, Adam Smith, to call for an increase in quality, Eddie is still well on his game when it comes to online wranglings.