Canelo Alvarez offered new $20M per fight deal by DAZN
By Dan Ambrose: Canelo Alvarez has been offered a new scaled-back $20 million per fight deal by DAZN with upside depending on the number of subscribers his matches bring in. The opponents would be selected by Canelo and DAZN together rather than with the Mexican star himself.
This new deal can work for Canelo as long as he’s willing to fight the best, and that means he’s got to be careful to pick only the top caliber fighters that cans want to see him fight.
DAZN offered the 30-year-old Canelo the $20 million per fight deal along with an upside that is based on the number of subscribers his contests pull in.
The $20 million would be guaranteed, which is a good deal for Canelo because he wouldn’t have to worry about that. But for Canelo to earn more money, he would need to fight guys that U.S boxing fans are interested in seeing.
That’s potentially bad news for Canelo if he’s still interested in facing the likes of Avni Yildirim or Billy Joe Saunders. Those aren’t big enough names to bring in a high amount of new subscribers to DAZN.
Even Callum Smith, a guy that some boxing fans used to think was the #1 fighter at 168, won’t likely interest many American fans as an opponent for Canelo.
Alvarez would take a $15M per fight pay-cut
Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) would be taking a pay cut from the $35 million per fight deal that he had previously with DAZN as part of his 11-fight $365 million deal. Many things have changed with the world since that contract was given to Alvarez, as the global pandemic has come down hard on DAZN, resulting in many boxing fans discontinuing their subscriptions.
“10-hour mediation session on Tuesday between Canelo Alvarez, DAZN chief operating officer Ed McCarthy, Golden Boy Promotions’ Oscar De La Hoya and Eric Gomez, along with the respective legal teams of all three parties,” said Coppinger to The Athletic.
DAZN offered Alvarez a restructured deal during the mediation process, sources said, that would pay the Mexican icon upward of $20 million guaranteed per fight, along with upside tied to how many DAZN subscribers each event generates. The offer is similar in structure to the way boxers are paid for pay-per-view events.”
If Canelo agrees to the new $20M per fight deal, he could make a lot more money than his original $35 million per fight deal with DAZN. But for Canelo to do that, he would need to face guys like Gennadiy Golovkin and other tough fighters where he would have the potential of losing.
Canelo should have already fought Golovkin for their trilogy match, and it isn’t easy to understand what the hold up was.
For Canelo to fight Rocky Fielding, Kovalev, and Jacobs rather than Golovkin, it makes no sense at all. That’s why many boxing fans believe that Canelo has been cherry-picking his opponents ever since he signed his 11-fight contract with DAZN.
He wasn’t fighting the best. Kovalev was seen as the weakest champion and the same with Fielding and Jacobs. They were all belt-holders when Canelo fought them, but they arguably the weakest link.
Fighting Golovkin is a must
Just fighting Golovkin twice in a row would bring in a lot of money for Canelo, and perhaps well above what he would have gotten on his old contract. For it to work in Canelo’s favor, he couldn’t take the weaker opponents like we’ve been seeing him do lately against past his prime Sergey Kovalev, Daniel Jacobs, and Rocky Fielding.
While it may seem like a horrible deal for Canelo to get a pay cut of $15 million per fight, it might be the only way for him to return to the ring soon. It won’t help Canelo sit outside of the ring for a year or two, waiting for his lawsuit to conclude.
By the time Canelo does return to the ring, who knows whether he’ll be the same fighter or not? If he loses the case, he won’t have anything to show for it, and he’ll have gotten older, and his skills will be rusty.
Things might not be better for Canelo if he leaves DAZN. He would need to fight dangerous guys like Golovkin, David Benavidez, Dmitry Bivol, Jermall Charlo, and Artur Beterbiev for him to bring in a lot of pay-per-view money.
Canelo won’t bring in massive paydays fighting Yildirim, Saunders, Callum Smith, and Anthony Dirrell fighting on ESPN or Showtime.
Unfortunately for Canelo, he would likely need to take the riskiest fights to make more than his new $20 million contract pays him, but he can still do well.
If Canelo is wise about the opponents he picks, he can make a massive amount of money for his remaining fights on his DAZN contract. Still, it might involve Canelo getting beaten two or three times along the way against the A-level guys.
Canelo could find things tough
“I think Canelo is keenly aware of the clock that is on his career,” said Chris Mannix on SI Boxing Podcast. “It may not be the end of his career, but the end of his prime years.
“He’s looking at one, two or maybe three where he’ll be considered the best or one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in all of boxing. I don’t think Canelo wants to waste those years [in litigation] or even waste an opportunity to fight in the fall.
“I have not ruled out the possibility or even the probability that we’ll see Canelo back in the ring before the end of the year. And I think that’s very much possible that this gets resolved and Canelo gets back in the mix.
“Some of that is his age, and he wants to keep his career going. Part of it too is he’s guaranteed a lot on this DAZN deal. $280 million over the rest of it and Bob Arum said that he doesn’t know if that’s going to be available to Canelo on the open market [if he leaves DAZN].
“$35 million per fight that he’s guaranteed with DAZN or at least he is in the original contract. I think in a relationship between DAZN and Canelo, I feel that it’s more likely than not that continues.
“I don’t know how the Golden Boy stuff its in. There are a lot more deep-rooted issues between Canelo and Golden Boy than there are between Canelo and DAZN.”
In the open market, Canelo might find things tough for him even to make $20 million per fight, as that would require risky fights, and that’s something he stopped doing after his 2018 rematch with GGG.
Canelo wouldn’t sell fights to U.S fans on pay-per-view against Yildirim, Callum Smith, or Saunders. Of course, Canelo could insist that one of the networks put those fights on PPV, but they would likely bomb badly.
Paying $70 to watch Canelo destroy Yildirim or Saunders isn’t something that many fans would be eager to do during the pandemic.
Alvarez not interested in self-promotion
“Stephen Espinoza of Showtime had some comments recently where he basically said ‘if Canelo were available, we’d certainly be interested in signing him,'” said Mannix. “Showtime is the network that took Floyd Mayweather away from HBO.
“While that had some ups and downs, they certainly made a lot of money off of it because they got part of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, and they got Mayweather against Canelo.
“They were able to put together some big fights. Let’s say hypothetically, Canelo hits the open market. What does that market look like for him? It’s tough for anyone to guarantee him $35 million per fight in this kind of landscape.
“If you’re someone outside of DAZN and you’re thinking about signing Canelo, one thing that you have to factor in is, he’s not all that interested in self-promotion.
“It’s not like he’s constantly inviting people into his camp, and doing the talkshow circuit. The guy understands English clearly, but he doesn’t want to speak it back.
“Certainly broadcast networks and cable networks like ESPN could elevate his profile, but I’m not sure. If he were English-speaking, there might be more upside for Top Rank/ESPN to guarantee that kind of money.
“More power to him. He’s been tremendously successful this way, but he’s mostly interested in fighting, winning, collecting a check, and going home. I don’t think it makes him unique, but it certainly makes him different from a lot of the guys that have been in his position over recent years.
“We would love to, and we are proud of the moments we spent with Canelo,” Showtime executive Stephen Espinoza said to Forbes.com. “We did some big fights in his career; we helped launch them as a pay-per-view attraction in America. We’d love to be back in business with him again,” Espinoza said.
If Canelo had made an effort to learn and speak English as we saw with Juan Manuel Marquez and Miguel Cotto, to name just two examples of Hispanic fighters learning to speak English, he would likely increase his fan base in the U.S.
Canelo will probably never been an outgoing type of person like Tyson Fury, but he could help himself greatly if he spoke English to his fans. It would make him more appealing for some of the other networks to snatch him up if and when he does leave DAZN.
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