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Golden Boy increases Kovalev’s offer for Canelo fight

Canelo Alvarez Sergey Kovalev

By Kenneth Friedman: Golden Boy Promotions has increased their offer made to light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev for him to agree to a fight with Saul Canelo Alvarez on September 14 on DAZN, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. Kovalev and his promoters at Main Events rejected the previous offer by Golden Boy. Unfortunately, the new offer is still too low for Kovalev to agree to take the fight with Canelo.

Kovalev wants multi-fight deal with DAZN

In order to get Sergey to agree to the Canelo deal, Main Events says one alternative would be for DAZN to offer Kovalev a “multi-fight” deal that includes a “comeback fight,” according to a source for Mannix. However, it’s unknown whether that would be an acceptable option to DAZN. Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) is a good fighter, but he’s lost three out last six fights. He’s 36-years-old now, and not the best fighter at 175.

If DAZN wants to sign a light heavyweight, they would do well to go after one of the younger fighters like Artur Beterbiev, Marcus Browne, or Dmitry Bivol, for example. If Kovalev were to lose to Canelo, then DAZN would still have two more fights on a multi-fight contract with the Russian fighter. One would assume that the comeback fight would be a soft opponent like some of the guys we’ve seen Kovalev fighting since his second loss to Andre Ward in 2017. It won’t do DAZN any good if Kovalev loses to Canelo, and then his comeback fight involves someone like Igor Mikhalkin, Jean Pascal or Blake Caparello. The interest in Kovalev would nosedive if he were to lose to Canelo.

Golden Boy increases offer to Kovalev

“Golden Boy has increased its offer to Sergey Kovalev in an effort to finalize a deal for Kovalev to defend his light heavyweight title against Canelo Alvarez in September, a source familiar with the negotiations told @SInow,” said @SIChrisMannix. Still: The offer to Kovalev is still underwhelming to Kovalev’s team, per source. One option Kovalev’s promoter, @Main_Events would like to pursue: A multi-fight agreement with @DAZN_USA that guarantees Kovalev a comeback fight,” said @SIChrisMannix.”

It’s unclear whether Kovalev is looking for a $100 million+ multi-fight deal with DAZN in order for him to sign for a fight with Canelo Alvarez for September 14. Kovalev has a lot of mileage on him now at 36, and his 3-3 record in his last 6 fights isn’t a good sign of future success. DAZN obviously wants to sign guys that will be able to compete at a high level for their entire contracts with them. They need quality fighters. Recently, DAZN signed Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez recently only to see them both take soft fights in their first matches of their nine-figure contracts. Canelo fought Rocky Fielding, and the bout brought in less than overwhelming numbers. For his part, Golovkin took on little known Steve Rolls. Neither of these guys were elite level fighters, and yet DAZN paid Canelo and GGG big money for those fights.

Kovalev in a tough spot

For Kovalev to take a fight with Canelo, he has to pay his mandatory Anthony Yarde a step aside payment for him to temporarily move out of the way.  Yarde, 27, is agreeable to stepping aside, but it’s going to cost a lot of money to get him to do this. So whatever money that Golden Boy Promotions is offering Kovalev to face Canelo, it’s not going to be the same amount after Yarde’s step aside fee is subtracted. For example, if Golden Boy offered $6 million to Kovalev to fight Canelo, he might end up with $5 million or even lower after he pays Yarde his step aside fee. The timing of Golden Boy attempting to get Kovalev to fight Canelo is bad right now. If they could wait until Kovalev fights Yarde, then it’s a lot easier. But Canelo needs an opponent right away. He can’t wait.



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