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Will Showtime Be “Super”?


There has been a lot of chatter that WBC/WBA junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia will be facing perennial contender and former champion Zab Judah in his next bout at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where Garcia “Swift”-ly took care of Erik Morales last weekend. From Showtime’s perspective, that fight would be acceptable for its airwaves.
The head of Showtime Sports, Stephen Espinoza, told Maxboxing earlier this week, “I think that would be an attractive fight. Zab has had a bit of a rejuvenation, a rededication. Some have questioned where he was in his career and I think he has demonstrated to any of the doubters over the last couple of fights that he’s fully committed and still a very skilled guy. As you probably saw from our broadcast on Saturday night, he’s still a very popular guy in Brooklyn, probably second only to Mike Tyson among the fighters who were there. So there are a lot of interesting facets of a Garcia-Judah [match-up].”

Espinoza says that bout could take place in the first quarter of 2013 but is just “one of the two or three most attractive options” but honestly, it looks like this is the fight that will eventually take place.
Showtime, unlike HBO, had never embargoed Judah from its airwaves and unlike their rivals across the street, actually tried to purchase the IBF title bout between Lamont Peterson and Judah (who, at the time, was his mandatory challenger).
“I did,” confirmed Espinoza. “I bid what I considered to be very aggressively for that fight, well before the purse bid. And I thought it would’ve been an interesting fight to put on the undercard of [Miguel] Cotto versus [Austin] Trout (on December 1st at Madison Square Garden in New York). Ultimately, the promoters had other ideas and seemed like there was difficulty making a deal with Zab Judah anyways. It’s probably a moot point anyways.” Barry Hunter, who now also promotes Peterson, along with his other duties, balked at this platform for some reason. “The word I got back was they wanted to make that a main event in D.C.”
What makes Judah so attractive to Garcia is perhaps the fact that he’s not Lucas Matthysse, who captured the WBC interim title by stopping the rugged Ajose Olusegun on September 8th and should be in line to face Garcia soon (although Jose Sulaiman and his crew have a way of changing the rules as they go along). So if not Garcia, where does Matthysse stand in Showtime’s future?
“If I could have Lucas Matthysse on every month, I would,” said Espinoza. “So he’s a big part of what I’d like to do going forward and everyone has talked about the Argentinean super-fight (with Marcos Maidana) which both guys seem to want do to. So it’s really just a matter of the details.”
Look for another Golden Boy/Showtime and Top Rank/HBO conflict on the date of December 15th. After wavering early in the week, it looks like the bout between unified 122-pound champion Nonito Donaire and Jorge Arce will be coming to fruition. Top Rank will be making it official on Tuesday and announcing a destination for this card, which will also include WBA junior featherweight beltholder Guillermo Rigondeaux, who will open up this HBO broadcast.
Meanwhile, Showtime will have Amir Khan facing Carlos Molina from the L.A. Sports Arena in what will be a full day of boxing on this network.
Espinoza explained, “We definitely have the [Showtime] Extreme and the Showtime show. We’re looking at filling out another opportunity for another platform. There’s been a lot of speculation about what that is; I don’t really want to get into it but we know we have a confirmed card. But it would be a unique structure of boxing programming on that Saturday.”
Speculation is that CBS might be getting back into the squared circle on this date.
“I don’t like to talk about stuff till it’s firm and definitive,” stated Espinoza.
My inbox was filled with stories expressing the sorrow over the untimely passing of legendary trainer Emanuel Steward, who died Thursday at the age of 68 ( Steward was a beloved figure to many in the sport and I think this email I received from Erik O. points out why:
Hey Steve Erik (@motowneast) here in Detroit. Too long to hit you on twitter. First things first, excellent job on the Manny tribute, especially from a Detroiters perspective. Secondly I have a story you may appreciate:

My best Manny Steward story: in the mid 90’s he was training Chavez. I was with my father at Armando’s in  Mexicantown. Manny was there eating with friends. A Mexican family came in and recognized him as Chavez’s trainer and said hello. The youngest son kept running back over to the table and asking about Chavez. Manny had the bartender bring a phone over to the table. He called Julio Cesar Chavez in Mexico and put the boy on the phone with his hero. And the kid chatted with Julio for a few minutes which no doubt, changed his life. This is the type of man Detroit lost yesterday.
HBO will air a tribute to Steward during its “Boxing After Dark” broadcast tonight (10:15 p.m.)...Also on tonight is the All-Texas battle between Antonio Escalante and Rocky Juarez from the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas on Telefutura...Main Events announced they are sold out of all their ringside seats at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA for their December 22nd rematch between Tomasz Adamek and Steve Cunningham...Gabriel Rosado has changed his mind and he will not be fighting Elvin Ayala on December 8th. Rosado is in line as the top-ranked challenger to IBF junior middleweight titlist Cornelius Bundrage...Fernando Guerrero faces J.C. Candelo on November 3rd in Humble, TX on a card televised by Fox Sports Net/Deportes...Whatever interest I had in the Miami Marlins is now gone since they fired Ozzie Guillen...You can call former LSU standout corner Tyrann Mathieu a lot of things; “quitter” isn’t one of them...Should USC be on “upset alert”? This is a bit of a trap game at Arizona this weekend...Seriously, I’m really enjoying “Nashville” on ABC - and I’m proud of it...I can be reached at and I tweet at We also have a Facebook fan page at, where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in via our fully interactive article comments sections.

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