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DAZN reaches a mega-deal with Canelo Alvarez, Golden Boy Promotions

The deal with DAZN would make Canelo one of the richest athletes in all of sports

HBO’s loss is DAZN’s gain.

Canelo Alvarez, one of the greatest boxers in the world today, has agreed to sign an exclusive deal with the streaming service. The deal is worth $365 million for over 11 fights. An announcement was made around 2 a.m. ET last night. The LA Times’ Lance Pugmire was the first to report the deal.

Said Canelo in a press release:

“I’ve always liked a challenge, and this is yet another challenger in my career. Being part of this historic deal will require me to prepare myself even more and offer fans even better performances. At the same time, I am humbled to be selected to lead this new vision for the sport of boxing, which will without a doubt be for the benefit of the fans.”

The deal will begin on December 15 when Canelo faces off against Rocky Fielding inside New York’s Madison Square Garden. This will be for Fielding’s (27-1) WBA Super Middleweight Championship. Additionally, Canelo’s (50-1-2) relationship with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions wasn’t going to be forgotten about. The promotion signed a deal to allow twelve fight cards under the Golden Boy banner to be streamed on DAZN through 2023. This also includes over 7,000 hours of boxing content from De La Hoya’s library.

In an interview with ESPN shortly after the contract was signed, De La Hoya had the following to say about the deal:

“This is easily one of the best days in the growing history of Golden Boy Promotions. We are committed to making this sport as accessible as possible and at an affordable price for all the fans. My dream has been to make boxing a sport for all. DAZN has the perfect platform to make this dream come true, and with the biggest star in the sport at the helm of this journey, I have no doubts that we will succeed in unimaginable ways.”

With Canelo comes other prospective fighters under the Golden Boy brand, including Jorge Linares, Marlen Esparza and Rey Vargas.

This is obviously a huge deal for both DAZN and boxing in general. While on HBO and Showtime, boxing PPV buys were through the roof. Over the years there has been a decline in viewership. Thanks to big fights, however, the sport has maintained its competitive nature. DAZN has Canelo at the right time. He is coming from two consecutive fights against Gennady Golovkin, one a draw and the other a majority decision win. Via ESPN, Alvarez had the following to say about the change in scenery:

“This is only from my hard work. The most important thing to me was being able to give the fans the opportunity to see me fight without having to pay the $70 or $80 for my fights on pay-per-view. That was the most important thing, more important than what I am making.

It has been a busy 2018 for DAZN, who debuted in the U.S. in September. The OTT platform’s opening bout came from their new deal with Matchroom Boxing, pitting Anthony Joshua against Alexander Povetkin. Besides a deal with Matchroom, DAZN created a relationship with World Boxing Super Series and Bellator MMA.

The deals by DAZN could become even more lucrative based off of future plans. Daniel Jacobs is currently scheduled to face Sergiy Derevyanchenko inside MSG on October 27. If Jacobs was to win, and Canelo was to beat Fielding, the two would be on a collision course against one another sometime in 2019. DAZN might be the prime location to stream the fight, if it were to take place.

After over 45 years, HBO is leaving the boxing business. With Showtime possibly following their lead, the rise of streaming services has been very lucrative. ESPN+ and Top Rank just signed a lucrative deal, and a produced bout between Terence Crawford and Jose Benavidez Jr. sparked record ratings. Each platforms are available for only $9.99 or less. In DAZN’s case, former ESPN President John Skipper’s (now with Perform Group) relationship with the boxing brand is still strong, hence the deal with Golden Boy.

Canelo’s deal makes him the richest athlete in the sports world, surpassing current Yankee Giancarlo Stanton’s 13-year, $325 million deal he made with the Marlins in 2014. If all goes according to plan, the move will be a huge knockout for him, Golden Boy and DAZN.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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