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Canelo Alvarez expected to sign with DAZN

Canelo Alvarez

By Dan Ambrose: Saul Canelo Alvarez is said to be on the verge of signing with DAZN, the streaming service that has recently gotten into the boxing business. According to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports News, DAZN is finalizing a deal with the 28-year-old WBA/WBC middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) that would add him to their platform.

Where the money would come from for DAZN to pay Canelo would be the big problem. DAZN is a new platform for boxing in the U.S, and there are a lot of American fans that are reluctant to pay the $10 per month to subscribe to it just so they can see the limited amount of fighters that Matchroom Boxing USA promoter Eddie Hearn has in his stable. If Canelo goes to DAZN, it’s unclear whether the new platform will lure a lot of fans to pay to see him fight. Will DAZN be able to advertise Canelo’s fights or will that be up to Golden Boy to do the selling of his fights? Will the fans that pay to see Canelo fight on PPV on DAZN have to pay the $10 subscription fee for the service in addition to the PPV price for the fight.

Canelo vs. Fielding still doesn’t have a broadcast deal for their December 15 fight. HBO is still a possibility to broadcast the fight on PPV. If not, then DAZN is an option to stream it. However, Golden Boy needs to find out soon. If they’re going to put Canelo vs. Fielding on PPV, it’s going to need a lot of marketing to interest boxing fans in the U.S purchase it, because casual fans have no idea who the British fighter is. Since Canelo has a lot of subscribers to HBO, he might choose to fight on that network if he wants to get the most out of his last fight against the little known WBA super middleweight champion Fielding.

Matchroom Boxing USA promoter Eddie Hearn signed a $1 billion deal with DAZN recently to have some of his fighter’ matches streamed on that platform. Hearn’s deal is to have 32 fight card per year on DAZN, which is a considerable amount of fights.

This is a deal that Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy president Eric Gomez are brokering with DAZN themselves rather than going through Matchroom Boxing USA promoter Eddie Hearn to put the deal together. Hearn has expressed interest in signing a co-promotional deal with Canelo to put his fights on his DAZN cards. However, De La Hoya said he would be dealing with DAZN themselves, and not using Matchroom as a middle man.

This will be a long-term deal for the Golden Boy promoted Canelo, according to Iole. Once finalized, Canelo will start fighting on DAZN in 2019. DAZN will be the replacement for HBO for the Mexican star, who has been with that network for the last three years since 2015. Since signing with HBO, Canelo has been involved in the following PPV fights with the network:

– Canelo vs. Miguel Cotto – 938,000 buys on November 21, 2015

– Canelo vs. Amir Khan – 600,000 buys on May 7, 2016

– Canelo vs. Liam Smith – 300,000 buys on September 17, 2016

– Canelo vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. – 1,000,000 buys on May 6, 2017

– Canelo vs. Gennady Golovkin – 1,300,000 on September 16, 2017

– Canelo vs. Golovkn II – 1,110,000 buys on September 15, 2018

Canelo still doesn’t have a TV deal for his next fight against WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding on December 15 at Madison Square Garden, New York. However, Golden Boy Promotions will be holding a news conference this Wednesday, and they’re expected to have an announcement at that time about which broadcaster will be showing Canelo’s next fight against Fielding. Since there’s no demand from the boxing public in the U.S in seeing Canelo fight the little known British fighter Fielding, his fight will likely bring in poor PPV numbers if he and Golden Boy Prootions choose to televise it on PPV. It would take a lot of nerve on their part to put such a low level fight on PPV, but it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve done it. Canelo’s fights against Alfredo Angulo and Erislandy Lara wound up on Showtime PPV despite there being little interest from boxing fans in seeing those fights.

Assuming that DAZN does ink Canelo, it would give the platform two of the biggest stars in boxing, as they already have IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, who has yet to fight for them yet. If Joshua is able to win over the U.S fans like he’s done in the UK, then DAZN will have two huge stars in Canelo and Joshua for their network. It’s not going to be easy for Joshua to become a star in the U.S without him fighting in the U.S against talented fighters like Deontay Wilder. Joshua’s next fight on April 13 will be on DAZN, and it’s unknown whether he’ll bring in a massive amount of American susbcribers, because he’s not from United States and his opposition are largely guys that have little chance to beat him. The casual boxing fans in the U.S don’t know who Joshua is, and they’re not going to likely pay $10 per month to subscribe to DAZN just so they can see him fight for the first time in wiping out the likes of Dillian Whyte or Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller next April. The only fight that would attract interest from the U.S fans is for Joshua to fight WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, but that’s a match that AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn doesn’t seem interested in making.

Alvarez is coming off of a win over Gennady Golovkin on HBO pay-per-view on September 15 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight brought in good PPV numbers with 1.1 million buys. GGG and his promoters at K2 wanted to put together a third fight with Canelo, but Golden Boy chose instead to have Canelo move up to 168 to challenge Fielding for his WBA super middleweight title. The rationale for Canelo moving up to super middleweight to take on what is clearly the most beatable of the champions in that division in Fielding is so that he can get some rest from the punishment he took in the GGG fight.

Although Golovkin took a tough beating himself, he’s 36-years-old and near the end of his career. He’s not the biggest PPV attraction in boxing like Canelo is today, so it doesn’t hurt him as much that he took a lot of punishment in the fight. It definitely hurts Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy because they’re hoping to keep him at the top of the sport for the next 10 years or more. The punishment that Canelo absorbed against GGG might have knocked a few years off his prime, making him an older fighter than he was before he took that fight. In essence, Canelo’s true reason for taking on Fielding instead of GGG or one of the talented super middleweights is so that he doesn’t need to take another beating. Let’s face it; Canelo was seen as the loser in both of his fights with Golovkin by the boxing public, and there’s no point in him fighting the Kazakhstan fighter a third time. Golovkin pretty much proved that he’s the better fighter despite being eight years older at 36.


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