“We believed this day would come, we worked hard to make it happen and we’re thrilled that it is here.” – Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President & General Manager SHOWTIME 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.” – Ken Hershman, President HBO SPORTS®
TV Picks: Live on Pay-Per-View Saturday, May 2: It’s a done deal! Undefeated Floyd Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) will fight longtime rival Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) in a Welterweight World Championship Unification Bout live on Pay-Per-View on Saturday, May 2.
Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Showtime Sports, and Ken Hershman, President of HBO Sports, were made available to the media just minutes after the fight was officially announced by Mayweather via his Shots account.
Here are highlights from what Hershman and Espinoza had to say Friday:
Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President & General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports:
“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. 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 believed this day would come, we worked hard to make it happen and we’re thrilled that it is here. The meeting between Floyd and Manny at the Miami Heat game certainly greased the wheels in getting through the final stages of the process.
Everyone involved, including Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, knows this fight simply had to happen. All of us are thrilled to be able to deliver this event to boxing fans around the world. Now, for the second time under his current deal with Showtime Networks, Floyd Mayweather has agreed to fight an opponent that many people thought he’d never face. We set an all-time pay-per-view record with the first event back in September 2013, and we look forward to another record-breaking performance on May 2.”
Ken Hershman, President, HBO Sports:
“Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather have been the two most prominent fighters in the sport of boxing for the past decade, and fight fans around the world have been clamoring for them to face each other. And now, on May 2nd, in what everyone believes will be the biggest boxing event of all-time, fight fans have been granted their wish. May 2nd will be a signature moment for the sport of boxing and HBO Sports is thrilled to be a part of this spectacular event. I know the fighters and their teams will be primed to excel and we plan to work closely with everyone involved to deliver the same level of performance from a broadcast perspective.”
“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.”