Outgoing Showtime Sports boss Stephen Espinoza says there is a distinct chance that he could remain playing a role in the sport that he has operated in for more than a decade.

In a recent interview, the longtime overseer of boxing at the premium cable channel opened up about the corporate decision handed down a few months ago to terminate the company’s near four-decade relationship with the sport. The move, made by Showtime’s parent company, Paramount Global (which also owns this website), means the entire sports department will be eliminated after the end of this month.

In the meantime, there has been rampant speculation that Espinoza and other members of Showtime’s boxing staff could find themselves reunited with Al Haymon's Premier Boxing Champions, Showtime’s longtime exclusive boxing content partner, under its new streaming deal with Amazon Prime Video.

PBC, which counts Gervonta Davis, Canelo Alvarez, and Terence Crawford as part of its vast roster, announced this week that it had entered into a multiyear deal with the streaming service that will showcase its first event in March.

“To be completely candid, I haven’t decided [on my next steps],” Espinoza said on The Showtime Boxing Podcast. “I gave up my legal career and moved coasts on two weeks’ notice to take the Showtime job. It was exactly 12 years ago…”

“Certainly, boxing was near and dear to my heart before it started,” Espinoza continued. “It’s still very much in my blood. There’s a piece of me that very much wants to continue. What we built over the last 12 years has a lot of momentum, a lot of interesting guys that we’ve discovered and helped build and there’s a big part of me that wants to continue that. I’m also looking at other opportunities. I would just say the decision hasn’t been made, but there is a very good possibility that I would continue in boxing.”

Espinoza praised PBC’s new broadcasting deal with the e-commerce giant, saying the marketing and distribution capabilities of Prime Video could be a potential game changer in a “cutthroat” sports media landscape.

“I think it’s a tremendous opportunity not only for PBC but the sport overall,” Espinoza said. “You’ve heard me say this. …The media market place has become absolutely cutthroat. It is kill or be killed every single night of the week, not just in sports programming but in other programming. …There’s something to do, something to watch, every single night. For boxing to continue to thrive as it has in the last couple of years, A) we have to continue making big fights and B) we need the biggest reach possible, both in terms of marketing and actual distribution. And that’s the great thing about Amazon. You’ve got reach, you’ve got marketing. Amazon is really good at selling people various things, some would say selling things that they might not even need. …

“Again, harness some of that reach and some of that marketing ability, I think there’s a tremendous opportunity to grow the sport and to continue to build it.”

Espinoza admitted he is keen on seeing members of Showtime’s production crew finding a home with PBC and Amazon, especially given that PBC will be overseeing the reins of production for the first time.  

“From where I sit, and I’m certainly not objective in this, but I would love to see either the Showtime production team continue in whole or in large part in contributing going forward,” Espinoza said. “The reality is PBC is going to be responsible for production and PBC has not previously overseen that on the domestic side. They obviously produce the international feed as people have learned pretty aggressively over the last couple of weeks. But there is not the full production on the domestic side.

“My pitch whether I’m involved or not, with PBC or Amazon, going forward, I would enthusiastically pitch the team we have at Showtime. There’s no one around with as much experience that shows the care and dedication to the fights, the stature of fights that this team has done.

“I’m certainly going to push every opportunity that these talented people that have been bringing these high class premium productions to Showtime subscribers continue doing that for PBC in the future.”

Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing