Paulie Malignaggi issues Showtime boss Stephen Espinoza a “final warning” over his firing from the company over controversial comments.
The former world boxing champion was released in August 2020 over an interview given to UK media in response to Devin Haney.
At the time, Haney said he’d “never let a white boy beat me.” – The quip irked Malignaggi into a response that ultimately led to his demise at Showtime.
Showtime boss – More than words
Espinoza responded to a fan questioning why Malignaggi was fired for his views on racial issues when Gervonta Davis had been given a pass despite several arrests.
“Another false narrative. He wasn’t fired over “words.” It’s a confidential matter so I won’t get into specifics, but it wasn’t just “words,” said Espinoza.
It didn’t take Malignaggi long to get involved as he issued a final warning to Espinoza over the sensitive matter.
“I’ve addressed you with this before,” replied Malignaggi. “Maybe you are hard of hearing?
“I have all the emails. So for the last time, please stop with the lies, or I will release the entire email chain and dialogue you and I had about this two and a half years ago.
“This is your final warning,” he added.
Some of what Malignaggi said back then was poorly taken by many, including Espinoza and Showtime. They reportedly asked him to apologize, which is where things turned sour.
However, the whole incident is still a touchy subject. That’s despite Malignaggi moving on and having no trouble finding other work on alternative networks.
“This is exactly one of the reasons why. The fact that a Black fighter can say that not pay any price financially. But if a White fighter said that about any Black fighters at all, he’d probably lose his TV contract. And probably TV networks wouldn’t touch him, you know,” pointed out Malignaggi.
“I won’t tell you that it’s a double standard. But I’ll tell you that it does prove that the whole hypothesis of racial oppression is way above and exaggerated in this century, you know.
“I don’t think this century has given us anything aside from any situations people want t to nitpick, you know.”
On Haney’s comments, Malignaggi added: “When you’re in your early twenties, you probably don’t express that very well. It’s not something that great to make racial (statements) in 2020, especially with so many racial tensions in the world.”
Addressing the previous domination of black athletes in boxing, the Italian-American continued: “Boxing has had its course in history, with certain demographics dominating more than others, right?
“Maybe like 100 years ago, Irish fighters were better. And then the Jews and the Italians came in. The African-American fighter became most dominant in the sport in the 70s, 80s, and even 90s.
“It’s not great to have the race discussion because it will coordinate division. But it’s no longer the time of the African American anymore in boxing.
“It’s [the Eastern Europeans] that have become the dominant species in boxing. I think stating something like [Haney’s statement] could be very dangerous.”