Showtime Sports executive Stephen Espinoza was seated on stage during the Toronto portion of the world tour presser for the Conor McGregor versus Floyd Mayweather super fight.
Espinoza and Showtime were cursed out by McGregor on stage, it was a situation that caught the executive off guard.
“I’m not sure whether it’s part of the show,” Espinoza said to MMA Fighting. “I’m not sure how much is a put on. It seemed more than that. It certainly wasn’t a wink and a nod. And it wasn’t backstage saying, ‘Hey, I’m doing it for the good of the show.’ The reality is you see what some athletes — whether combat sports or otherwise — the need to invent enemies and invent opponents to motivate. He’s obviously got that in Floyd. If this is part of his process of imagining the world against him and motivating himself, then that’s his his process. I’m a big boy. It’s certainly not somebody that has come after me as a network. It did take me a little bit by surprise, but it’s part of the entertainment value of the McGregor business.”
Espinoza is expected to be on the stage for the remainder of the tour, which ends at Wembley Stadium in London, England Friday.
If McGregor were to take shots again at Espinoza and Showtime, then the executive may have to fire back.
“I’d like to sleep on it, but it took me by surprise,” he said. “At the end of the day, I’m a big boy and I still got opportunities to respond if I need to.”
Conor McGregor versus Floyd Mayweather takes place on Saturday, August 26 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.