By Mohamed Horomtallah: One week after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the international community has reacted strongly. The sanctions keep piling up and a total boycott of everything coming out of or related to Russia is what’s on the menu.
From the financial world to high tech giants, ties to the country are being cut.
It’s against this backdrop that DAZN and Matchroom just made the mistake to go ahead and officialize the Canelo vs. Bivol fight through a press conference held in San Diego earlier today.
What the streaming app failed to realize is the fact that they will not be allowed to stage the fight unless they’re willing to face a major boycott and a huge loss in terms of revenues.
One has to keep in mind that fresh off paying billions in debt, DAZN main market is Europe, and subscribers in that region will not tolerate a business making money off anything remotely related to Russia.
For those who might not have paid attention to what’s going on overseas in sports, here’s a reminder of the latest developments:
- Russia has been kicked out of the biggest sporting event, the World Cup, to be held later on this year.
- The UEFA has kicked out all Russian clubs from all European competitions.
- The UEFA also voided a multi-year, multimillion sponsorship contract with Russian giant Gazprom.
- Roman Abrahamovic, owner Premier League Chelsea, announced today that he will sell the team due to his involvement being detrimental to the soccer club.
In addition to that, different teams from different sports refuse to compete in Russia or against Russian teams or athletes. The Klitschkos are demanding that no Russian athlete should be allowed to compete.
DAZN and Hearn making the fight official amid this global boycott call is not a smart move. They just shot themselves in the foot and will retract very soon. They will not risk damaging the DAZN brand worldwide. Too much money at stake.
What will happen is an apology and the cancellation of the fight. Canelo will end up facing Golovkin next after he pulls out of the Morata fight to secure his payday against the Mexican superstar.
For those wondering if Canelo will end up going the PBC route, the answer is no. He is not ready yet for Benavidez or even Charlo because they can both bring the fight to him and have the power to hurt him, contrary to Bivol who’s a good technician but with no power to trouble Alvarez.
After the Golovkin fight, Canelo will probably go for Bivol’s and Beterbiev’s vacant belts and become undisputed at 175 like he did in the 168 division as soon as Benavidez lost his WBC belt on the scale.