With DAZN Deal, 'Canelo' Alvarez Joins Floyd Mayweather Jr. As $300M Boxer
Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at 10:21PM
NYSportsJournalism.com in Boxing, Canelo Alvarez, DAZN, Madison Square Garden, boxing, sports marketing

By Barry Janoff

October 17, 2018: Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s nickname is “Money.”

People can now start calling boxer Saul "Canelo" Alvarez “Big Money.”

With boxing executives calling it “the beginning of a new era in boxing,” Alvarez has signed a five-year, 11-fight deal valued at a “minimum of $365 million” with DAZN.

DAZN (pronounced Da-Zone) is a streaming network based out of the U.K. and under the auspices of executive chairman John Skipper, the former president for ESPN.

The deal — called the “largest for an athlete in sports history” by industry analysts — was unveiled in conjunction with a media event today in New York’s Madison Square Garden to promote Alvarez’s next fight, scheduled for Dec. 15 in The Garden against Rocky Fielding.

The fight will be the first for Alvarez under his new DAZN deal, as well as his first bout in Madison Square Garden.

DAZN already has a deal beginning in 2019 with Golden Boy Promotions, headed by former boxing champion and chairman and CEO Oscar de la Hoya.

“Oscar de la Hoya has been the most important person in the history of boxing pay-per-view. Right now, Canelo Alvarez is the most important fighter in pay-per-view,” Skipper (pictured below with Alvarez and Fielding) said during the media conference.

“He has sold 3.6 million buys in his last three PPV fights for a total revenue of close to a quarter of a billion dollars. His next 11 fights will be available exclusively internationally on DAZN.”

According to Skipper, “This is the beginning of a new era in boxing.”

The deal with DAZN comes on the heels of HBO deciding to phase out its live boxing telecasts.

“When one door closes another opens and we are very happy with this deal with DAZN,” Alvarez said at the media event through a translator. “(But) forget about the money — it is important for me that the fans enjoy the fight at a low price.”

DAZN said it offers more than 80 live and on-demand fights a year at $9.99 per month.

DAZN also recently signed an alliance with Matchroom Boxing, an eght-year pact put at $1 billion and called “the biggest-ever deal in boxing.”

On its roster of boxers, DAZN has an exclusive deal with Anthony Joshua, who holds the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight belts.

The Canelo-Fielding 12-round fight for the WBA Super Middleweight World Title is being presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Matchroom Boxing.

It is being lead-sponsored by Tecate and Hennessy.

Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) is moving up in weight for the bout.

Alvarez, who has the WBA and WBC middleweight crowns, defeated Gennady Glolovkin on Sept. 15. The fight was shown on HBO PPV and had about 1.1 million buys, generating upward of $94 million, according to industry analysts.

The fight, which was also shown in 450 theaters nationwide, generated more than $23.4 million from ticket sales at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Alvarez’ previous fight with Golovikin in September 2017 also topped one million PPV buys; as did his bout in May 2017 against Julio Cesar Chavez

Alvarez’ only loss came against Mayweather Jr. in September 2013.

The world’s highest paid athletes list this past year was topped by Mayweather Jr. at nearly $300 million from his fight against Conor McGregor and some $10 million in endorsements.

Soccer star Leo Messi was a distant second at about $110 million from salary and endorsements, according to Forbes.

“Adding this exclusive arrangement with Golden Boy and its quality roster of fighters to our Matchroom U.K. and Matchroom U.S. fights gives us a year-long schedule of premium events for boxing fans,” Skipper said during the media conference.

“We add our Bellator, Combate MMA fights, and our World Boxing Super Series dates to provide a superior and affordable annual offering for fight fans.”

PHOTOS COURTESY GOLDEN BOY PROMOTIONS, DAZN

DAZN Invests $1B To Ignite Boxing In U.S.

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