City Sports Report

Mayweather vs Pacquiao a reality: TV execs speak


By Jason Schott (Follow Jason on Twitter)

The two biggest boxers in the world will finally face each other after endless speculation on when it would happen. Floyd Maweather will face Manny Pacquiao in a Welterweight World Championship Unification Bout live on Pay-Per-View on Saturday, May 2, 2015.

Mayweather is undefeated with a record of 47-0, with 26 knockouts, and Pacquiao has a record of 57-5-2 with 38 KOs.

Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President & General Manager Showtime Sports, and Ken Hershman, President HBO Sports, spoke in a conference call after the news was released on Friday night. They gave insights into television’s role in the negotiations with the promoters, and which notable executive made a difference in making this much-anticipated fight happen.

Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President & General Manager Showtime Sports:

“We believed this day would come, we worked hard to make it happen and we’re thrilled that it is here.”

“One of the main reasons why this deal got done, as opposed to deals in the past, was because Leslie Moonves [President and CEO, CBS Corporation] was a part of the process. He was deeply committed to making this deal and was someone that all parties in this negotiation really respect. He was really the catalyst for seeing this through and refused to take no for an answer from any side.

We’re thrilled to be a part of what we expect to be a record-breaking event. This deal is a product of a lot of hard work with some blood, sweat and tears along the way.

I took this job approximately three years ago; the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight has been a topic of conversation and a goal of not only ours, but of Floyd Mayweather’s since he came over to Showtime a little less than three years ago.

I believe that the direct line of communication between Floyd and Manny cleared up a lot of doubts on both of their minds and renewed their commitment to getting this fight done.

We have had significant discussions as to who will make up the broadcast team; it will be an all-star team with a combination of talent from both networks.

The meeting between Floyd and Manny at the Miami Heat game certainly greased the wheels in getting through the final stages of the process.

We believed this day would come, we worked hard to make it happen and we’re thrilled that it is here.”

– Ken Hershman, President HBO Sports:

“This is the biggest boxing event of all time, we’re confident of that. We couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it and help craft it.

We look forward to May 2. It’s going to be a spectacular night for this sport and for HBO and Showtime as well.

The Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis joint pay-per-view fight was a great roadmap for this fight. It showed that this can be done successfully. There’s a lot of mechanics that go into this when two networks are working together, and those mechanics carry forward in terms of how things operate behind the scenes.

“The fight will be held on traditional pay-per-view, nothing out of the ordinary on that front. We’re looking forward to getting going, there’s a lot of hard work ahead of us.”

Mayweather vs Pacquiao is finally a reality.

For more of our coverage of Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao click below

Floyd Mayweather: The Most Hated Man In Boxing

Boxing insider and author George Willis of New York Post talks Floyd vs Manny

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