In a true-life rags to riches tale, Guadalajara’s hometown working-class boxing hero Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has joined the sporting elite after signing a record-breaking, 11-fight deal with streaming service DAZN for a minimum of $US365 million.
The five-year contract surpasses the previous record set by New York Yankees hitter Giancarlo Stanton at US$325 million.
The first of the 11 fights is scheduled for December 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York, when the Guadalajara native faces Rocky Fielding of Great Britain. Last month, Alvarez inflicted the only career defeat on Kazakhstan’s Gennady Golovkin. The Tapatio fighter earned $US50 million for the thrilling HBO-televised battle in Las Vegas. He now holds both the WBA and WBC middleweight crowns.
The deal with DAZN was signed late Tuesday, a few months after HBO announced it was ending its pay-per-view boxing coverage.
“I am very grateful to HBO and to Showtime for what they did for my career, but I am happy we’re moving forward and that I will be able to fight on a platform that is the future,” Alvarez told ESPN after the deal was cut. He added that the most important part of the deal was that fans would no longer need to pay up to $US80 to see him fight.
DAZN launched in the United States last month and is a subscription based service that charges customers US$9.99 a month and will broadcast more than 80 fights a year. DAZN offers more than 8,000 sport events a year, ranging from major to minor competitions, including the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, NBA, NFL, MLB, Formula One and Bellator MMA. DAZN is the host broadcaster of Japan’s J.League, broadcasting every game of the season across all three divisions.
The deal is also a major coup for Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, which represent Alvarez. De la Hoya will now be able to use the DAZN platform to promote other fighters in his stable, where he hopes to find the next “Canelo.”