Canelo Signs Richest Deal In Sports History
Less than a month after HBO Boxing announces its closing their doors, Oscar De La Hoya and Canelo Alvarez ink the largest deal in the history of sports for one fighter.
Alvarez has signed a five-year 11-fight pact with DAZN worth a minimum of $365 million, beginning with his December 15th fight at Madison Square Garden against Rocky Fielding.
Per ESPN, Alvarez’ deal eclipses the 13-year deal signed by Giancarlo Stanton in 2014 with the Miami Marlins for $325 million.
“Canelo is the highest-paid athlete in the world. He’s extremely happy,” De La Hoya told ESPN after Alvarez signed.
While HBO had the first right of negotiation and a last look provision in their contract with Alvarez, it elected to not match the offer made by DAZN, who has spent billions of dollars on content since announcing their new streaming service earlier this year.
With rumors surrounding a potential move to DAZN came when Alvarez announced the fight against Matchroom Boxing fighter, Fielding, the deal became official on Wednesday morning when Alvarez joined by his manager and trainer Chepo and Eddy Reynoso, signed the deal in the presence of De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions President Eric Gomez.
This marks the first seismic shift in the move of stars from Pay-Per-View to streaming, as Alvarez was the biggest current boxer on Pay-Per-View, and now made available on DAZN which charges under $10 for all content.
“This is only from my hard work,” Alvarez told ESPN shortly after he signed the paperwork. “The most important thing to me was being able to give the fans the opportunity to see me fight without having to pay the $70 or $80 for my fights on pay-per-view. That was the most important thing, more important than what I am making.
“It’s very important for me to give the fans the biggest fights and the most important fights, and I promise you I will always do that. The December fight with Fielding is a dangerous fight. I am moving up in weight, and I don’t know how my body will feel. But I always want to take on challenges, and I am very happy my fans will be able to see me fight for a small cost.”
When asked if he was worried about the move from traditional Pay-Per-View to DAZN, Alvarez is not concerned.
“Never. I was never worried because I’m very confident in myself,” he said. “I know how important I am to any platform I go to. 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. I’ve always liked a challenge, and this is yet another challenger in my career.
“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.”
Not only will DAZN get Alvarez, but also will get 10 “high-caliber” cards per year for a deal with terms that were not disclosed, which is set to begin in 2019.
“This is huge for boxing, huge for Canelo and huge for Golden Boy,” De La Hoya said. “Golden Boy is at the forefront of something very monumental for the sport of boxing.”
“This is easily one of the best days in the growing history of Golden Boy Promotions,” De La Hoya said. “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.”
DAZN boss John Skipper told the World Wide Leader that, “we are thrilled to be exclusive partners with Golden Boy Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya. 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.”
Initial Report: ESPN