Gennadiy Golovkin is a lucrative gem unearthed by HBO who eventually moved to DAZN once the premium cable network threw in the towel on boxing in 2018.
Golovkin signed a six-fight, three-year deal with DAZN in March 2019 that was guaranteed to pay the knockout artist at least eight figures a fight and up to $100 million overall. Golovkin’s package also included company equity in DAZN and guaranteed dates to stage GGG Promotions shows on the OTT network – events of which have been few and far between.
The 40-year-old Golovkin has fought four times on DAZN since June 2019 against Steve Rolls, Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Kamil Szeremeta, and Ryota Murata.
Golovkin (42-1-1, 37 KOs) will finally get the fight he was promised ever since signing a deal with the streaming service when he faces Canelo Alvarez in a trilogy fight for the undisputed super-middleweight title on Sept. 17 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on DAZN pay-per-view.
The third fight is four years in the making. The pair fought to a split draw in 2017 and Alvarez sneaked by in 2018 by scoring a majority decision. Many prognosticators have argued ever since that Golovkin won both fights.
If Golovkin were to beat Alvarez, would he be interested in a fourth fight?
“Probably not because it’s too expensive. For who? For DAZN? I don’t believe it. Just for who? For ESPN? Showtime?” Golovkin told BoxingScene.com.
DAZN, Golovkin, and Alvarez had to overcome several stalemates and hurdles throughout the years to make the third fight.
Alvarez was always in a position of leverage as the A-side and wanted to further force his preferred bargaining points and stick it to archrival Golovkin.
After an aggressive bid to chase the No. 1 spot in the United States boxing broadcast market, DAZN has taken a serious step back by not liberally opening the checkbook for fights like it once did.
Ever since it signed deals with both fighters, DAZN’s strategy has also shifted to more of a global one paired along with the introduction of PPV after proclaiming PPV was “dead.”
DAZN also lost Alvarez when Alvarez filed a lawsuit against Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN that got him out of a 10-fight, $365 million deal he signed in 2018.
Alvarez fought three times on DAZN previous to the lawsuit, and he’s fought four times since on a fight-by-fight deal. Alvarez has also fought once on Showtime in that stretch.
On Golovkin’s side of the street, DAZN asked GGG to take a pay cut in 2020, which the Kazakh fighter did during the mandatory defense of his middleweight title against Szeremeta.
Golovkin and DAZN again had to head to the bargaining table this year and agree to consolations in order to make the Alvarez fight happen after the Mexican star verbally agreed to a two-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing and DAZN that consisted of fighting Dmitry Bivol in May, and eventually, Golovkin in September.
Instead of taking an immediate rematch with Bivol after dropping a unanimous decision to the Russian, Alvarez ultimately opted to take on Golovkin in the long-awaited bout.
After a circuitous route, Golovkin finally got what he wanted all along, but with a lukewarm opinion on a possible fourth fight, he left it open for interpretation of where “The Big Drama Show” will go after the trilogy.
"I was not 100% sure [if the third fight would ever happen]," said Golovkin. "There were some developments in court from Alvarez. He wasn’t trying to take the fight at some point and was postponing it. But there was hope. On the other hand, I believe it is reasonable for him to agree to this fight right now."
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.