By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Eddie Hearn believes the historic deal Canelo Alvarez, Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN have struck will signal the end of pay-per-view boxing in the United States.
The 28-year-old Alvarez’s 11-fight contract with the new streaming service reportedly could be worth as much as $365 million. It’ll also make the Mexican superstar’s fights available as part of a $9.99 monthly subscription to DAZN, as opposed to paying from $75 to $85 to watch Alvarez’s fights on pay-per-view.
Hearn discussed the deal, first reported by BoxingScene.com on Tuesday, before a press conference Wednesday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. The first fight of Alvarez’s DAZN deal will take place at The Garden, where he’ll challenge WBA world super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) on December 15.
“This is gonna shake up the world,” Hearn said. “This is such a great deal that has happened here, and not just for DAZN, but for the boxing landscape. I believe today, with this announcement, you will see the end of pay-per-view boxing in the U.S. over a period – not today. But when you’re talking about going from an $84.99 or a $99 pay-per-view, to a $9.99 or even a free fight, like in December, this is gonna change boxing. Not just Canelo, this is Anthony Joshua. Anthony Joshua against Deontay Wilder, I believe, will happen on DAZN as well.”
Hearn confirmed that there is no plan for DAZN to eventually move toward pay-per-view events for such stars as Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) and Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs), Great Britain’s biggest draw and the IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion.
“The plan for DAZN is to be a subscription service,” Hearn said. “Ultimately, the first one against Fielding, which we’ll talk about in a minute, is free. There is no subscription. You can free subscribe to that fight, so again, that’s an early Christmas present for fight fans that, on HBO, you would’ve had to pay $84.99 for that Canelo pay-per-view fight.
“So their aim is to take boxing away from pay-per-view. Pay-per-view is a very important model in the UK, where we’re from. But it’s $25 for a major fight. Eight-five dollars, a hundred dollars is so much money, and I think fight fans will embrace this move and embrace DAZN.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.