On Wednesday, it was officially announced that Canelo Alvarez 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 U.S. in September and now features perhaps the two biggest figures in boxing in Alvarez and heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
DAZN came on the scene a few months ago, by signing an eight year content deal, worth $1 billion, with British promoter Eddie Hearn.
"We joined up with DAZN, our biggest global boxing partners a few months ago, and when we give you our commitment, we give you our heart, we give you our blood, and we had a mission to make sure the DAZN platform would work and be a success," Hearn said.
" We launched the platform with Anthony Joshua, the first show being live on DAZN, and now through Golden Boy and DAZN, they bring Canelo Saul Alvarez. This is a gamechanger for the world of boxing and the way boxing fans digest content.”
“Things are about to change. The whole game is about to change.”
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.
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.
It will cost them $9.99 a month for a subscription in the U.S. Under the five-year partnership, Golden Boy also will put on up to 10 fight nights per year that will stream live on DAZN beginning in early 2019.