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Stephen Espinoza: Jake Paul vs. Floyd Mayweather ‘has the potential’ to be bigger than Mayweather vs. Logan Paul


Jake Paul has his hands full with Anderson Silva on Saturday but that doesn’t mean he’s not looking ahead at future fights to knock off his bucket list.

Perhaps the biggest potential matchup would come against multi-time, multi-weight class champion Floyd Mayweather, who has been entertaining a series of exhibition fights since announcing his retirement from professional competition in 2017. Mayweather has earned millions in bouts taking place in Japan and Dubai not to mention a lucrative showdown with Logan Paul in 2021.

Showtime actually promoted Logan Paul vs. Floyd Mayweather with the pay-per-view generating more than 1 million buys with a $49.99 price tag attached to the event. With Jake now interested in picking up where his older brother left off, Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza admits it’s definitely a fight he would love to promote.

“Absolutely [we’d be interested],” Espinoza told MMA Fighting. “If that’s something that Floyd becomes interested in and he’s got room in his very busy schedule of exhibitions worldwide to do that, I think that has tremendous potential. Maybe even the potential to be bigger than Floyd and Logan [Paul], given what Jake has done as a professional boxer in the meantime.

“Look, I firmly believe as much as I wish this were not true, we’re not going to see or at least I’m not going to see another fighter like Floyd Mayweather in my lifetime. He’s truly a once a generation [fighter]. I mean the combination of his marketing ability and his skill set and everything that came along with him is just once in a lifetime type of fighter. Whenever he has a business endeavor and he picks up the phone and says ‘hey, are you interested?,’ 99 percent of the time our answer is yes.”

Showtime served as Mayweather’s promoter for the latter part of his career including the massive pay-per-view endeavor that saw him fight UFC superstar Conor McGregor.

Lately, Jake Paul has become a high priority for Showtime with his upcoming bout against Silva serving as their third event together since inking a deal with the 25-year-old fighter.

While there’s obviously a huge difference between them in terms of boxing experience, Espinoza actually sees a lot of similarities between Paul and Mayweather with how they do business and the way both have been able to market themselves to draw interest whenever they compete.

“I think they’re the two most gifted self-marketers that I’ve ever been involved with from very different ways of doing so,” Espinoza said. “Again, they both knew how intuitively to generate attention and engage with their audience and know their audience very well. They’re both intimately involved in the marketing and operation of the fight.

“I can’t think of many other fighters during fight week or the day before the fight who want to have conversations about marketing and promotion and what’s going on and what are our indicators saying and what marketing do we have on the day of the fight.”

Of course, the potential matchup would almost certainly happen as an exhibition rather than a professional fight for any number of reasons including Paul having a massive size advantage and Mayweather stating several times that he’s not risking his perfect 50-0 record after retiring from competition.

That said, Espinoza believes there’s a place in the sport of boxing for these types of exhibition bouts whether hardcore fans want to admit it or not.

“I’m as much of a boxing purist as anyone and that is always going to be near and dear to my heart but at a certain point you’ve got to have fun and lean into the spectacle every once in a while,” Espinoza said. “It is a very serious sport. It is a risky sport for the participants but there also is an omen of spectacle that is present in combat sports and boxing in particular that doesn’t exist anywhere else in sports.

“The more we lean into it while still respecting the sport itself, the bigger and more enjoyable the events are.”

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