DAZN Inks 11-Fight, $365 Million Deal With Canelo Alvarez, Golden Boy Promotions
Live productions will incorporate virtual graphics, social-media interaction
Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs), one of the biggest pay-per-view boxing draws, has signed an 11-fight, $365 million deal with live-streaming outfit DAZN. According to the announcement, the deal with Alvarez will be the richest athlete contract in sports history, and his first fight is set for Saturday, Dec. 15 at Madison Square Garden. As part of the partnership, Golden Boy Promotions will put on up to 10 fight nights per year that will stream live on DAZN beginning in early 2019.
The fights will be available in all DAZN markets: the U.S., Canada, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Japan. The DAZN-Golden Boy deal includes a large production element, with Golden Boy Promotions Chairman/CEO Oscar De La Hoya as executive producer of the 12 live fight-night productions annually. The productions will be a collaboration between DAZN and Golden Boy Media and Entertainment, De La Hoya’s in-house production arm, and will incorporate new features with virtual graphics and social-media interaction.
“We are thrilled to be exclusive partners with Golden Boy Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya,” says DAZN Group Executive Chairman John Skipper. “By bringing Canelo’s fights to DAZN, we will turn his pay-per-view success into a growth engine for subscribers — a truly transformational moment for our business and the entire industry.”
The first fight will take place on Saturday, Dec. 15 when Alvarez makes his first appearance at Madison Square Garden, challenging Rocky Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) for his WBA Super Middleweight World Title.
“I’ve always liked a challenge, and this is yet another challenger in my career,” says Alvarez. “Being part of this historic deal will require me to prepare myself even more and offer fans even better performances. At the same time, I am humbled to be selected to lead this new vision for the sport of boxing, which will without a doubt be for the benefit of the fans.”
Says De La Hoya, “This is easily one of the best days in the growing history of Golden Boy Promotions. We are committed to making this sport as accessible as possible and at an affordable price for all the fans. My dream has been to make boxing a sport for all. DAZN has the perfect platform to make this dream come true, and, with the biggest star in the sport at the helm of this journey, I have no doubts that we will succeed in unimaginable ways.”
Alvarez is coming off the biggest win of his career, last month’s thrilling majority decision victory against Gennady “GGG” Golovkin to become the WBC, WBA, Lineal, and Ring magazine middleweight champion. His 50-win career also boasts victories over Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan, Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara, Austin Trout, “Sugar” Shane Mosley, among many others. Now Alvarez seeks to join a small and illustrious list of three-division world champions from Mexico as he steps up to 168 lb. to challenge Fielding.
DAZN launched just over two years ago, debuting in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Japan. Next came launches in Canada (2017), Italy (2018), and the U.S. (2018), where DAZN has announced blockbuster deals with Matchroom Boxing and Bellator MMA to deliver a slate of fight-sports content.
De La Hoya’s 7,000-hour library of fights spanning his career as a boxer and a promoter is included in the partnership and will be available on DAZN. Additionally, Golden Boy Media and Entertainment will produce volumes of shoulder programs for the platform, including live studio shows like Between the Ropes and award-winning Mano a Mano. De La Hoya has had a vision for the sport of boxing, and included in that vision are new approaches to telling the stories of the fighters for a global audience through live, scripted, and social-media programming. The new partnership between DAZN and Golden Boy allows this vision to flourish and create narratives that appeal across demographic categories worldwide.