Showtime Boxing boss Stephen Espinoza faced a heavy counter this week after revealing his gripes over ESPN’s coverage of Rocky Balboa.
Espinoza complained that ESPN gave more kudos to Balboa’s 36th anniversary of the release of Rocky IV than the broadcasters did for Stephen Fulton Jr. vs. Brandon Figueroa on Showtime.
He said: “Stop treating Rocky Balboa and Sylvester Stallone as a real boxer.
“Especially when you give a fictional fight in a 36-year-old movie more attention than tonight’s high-quality, intriguing – and very much real-life – Figueroa vs. Fulton world title unification fight.”
As the dust settled on the views of Espinoza, a wave of irony came firing back.
One fan said: “Stop treating the Paul brothers as real boxers.
“The Hearts on Fire montage has given inspiration and pushed athletes for decades now. The value in that alone is worth the remembrance.”
ROCKY BALBOA – HALL OF FAMER
Another added: “The Boxing Hall of Fame treats him as a real boxer.
“Rocky Balboa was literally inducted into the IBHOF ten or so years ago, which is silly. Maybe a “Great White Hope” sort of thing.”
A third stated: “I agree with you, but at the same time, you’re disgracing Boxing by having those YouTuber fights while real fighters don’t even get half that spotlight on
When adding further to that fact, a final response said: “Imagine hating on a fictional character when that’s literally what you are selling to the casuals [in the Paul Brothers].
It’s clear that many boxing fans have a massive affinity with Rocky Balboa and his story and took exception to that opinion.
There’s room for everyone, that’s for sure. But if one network decides not to cover a fight simply due to it featuring on another channel, that’s just something they will have to deal with themselves.
Especially when Fulton vs. Figueroa was a Fight of the Year contender, maybe that should speak for itself?
World Boxing News has had over one billion views since its inception in 2010. Follow on social media @worldboxingnews.