Canelo Al­varez inks $365M deal with stream­ing ser­vice DAZN

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Sport -

CANELO Al­varez is box­ing’s new $365 mil­lion man.

Al­varez has signed an 11-fight deal that his pro­mo­tional com­pany says is the rich­est ath­lete con­tract in sports his­tory, guar­an­tee­ing the Mex­i­can mid­dleweight cham­pion at least that much money to have his fights shown on the sports-stream­ing ser­vice DAZN, be­gin­ning with his next bout.

Al­varez will move up in weight to chal­lenge WBA su­per mid­dleweight cham­pion Rocky Field­ing on Dec. 15 at Madi­son Square Gar­den.

A mas­sive mon­ey­maker when he fought on pay-per-view, Al­varez will be able to be seen for much cheaper through the sub­scrip­tion ser­vice that launched in the US in Septem­ber and now fea­tures per­haps the two big­gest fig­ures in box­ing in Al­varez and heavy­weight cham­pion An­thony Joshua.

“We have No. 1 and No. 2. They’re the two most im­por­tant fighters in the world,” DAZN ex­ec­u­tive chair­man John Skip­per said. “Canelo fight­ing on DAZN, we be­lieve that that will help us at­tract some of the other fighters, some of the other pre­mier fighters.”

Al­varez (50-1-2, 34 KOS) is com­ing off a vic­tory over Gen­nady Golovkin in a mid­dleweight show­down in Septem­ber. That fight, like most of box­ing’s big­gest, was shown on pay-per-view. It cost $84.95 to be seen in high def­i­ni­tion.

And while plan­ning his next fight, Golden Boy Pro­mo­tions also needed a place to put it. With HBO bow­ing out of box­ing after this year, the com­pany had talks with Show­time, ESPN and Turner Sports about tele­vis­ing Al­varez’s fu­ture bouts.

But Skip­per made an ag­gres­sive of­fer for DAZN (pro­nounced Da-zone) when he met with Golden Boy about two weeks ago and the deal was quickly fi­nal­ized. “John came with the best deal. John Skip­per came, he wasn’t play­ing games,” Golden Boy Pres­i­dent Eric Gomez said. “He said, our first meet­ing with him over two weeks ago, he came to our of­fice and said, ‘I’ve got a blank check, I’m not leav­ing un­til we make a deal.’ And he put his money where his mouth is.”

Skip­per said it wasn’t quite a blank check, but one that en­sured Al­varez wouldn’t be tak­ing a pay cut to leave pay-per-view. He said Al­varez’s last three fights gen­er­ated 3.6 mil­lion buys and nearly a quar­ter of a bil­lion dol­lars, mak­ing him some­one who can be trans­for­ma­tive to a sub­scrip­tion ser­vice fo­cused largely — at least for now — on com­bat sports.

“So I’ve got to find those fans,” Skip­per said. “They are go­ing to want to watch his fights and they’re go­ing to get to buy them for a lot less ex­pen­sive than they did be­fore.”

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