The Friday Five: October 19th, 2018

1. Canelo Signs With DAZN for $365 Million

Credit: Golden Boy Promotions

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.”

2. Pacquiao Looks At Broner For January Return

Credit: Twitter/@SportsCenter

With Floyd Mayweather looking to take a tune-up fight (potentially against UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov), Manny Pacquiao is planning his own tune-up against a top contender.

Pacquiao announced on Wednesday that a showdown with Adrien Broner will be coming to Las Vegas on either January 12th or 19th, depending upon scheduling.

The announcement was made while Pacquiao was introduced as the latest ambassador of the International Sports Promotion Society at the Makati Shangrila Hotel.

“Broner, Adrien Broner,” said Pacquiao when asked who he’s going to fight next. “I think either January 12 or 19.”

While there is no confirmation on a showdown between Broner and Pacquiao, the current WBA “regular” welterweight champion has signed with Al Haymon who advises Broner who fights under the Haymon controlled Premier Boxing Champions brand.

Broner last was seen in the ring against Jessie Vargas, where they two would go to a draw inside Barclays Center this past April.

3. Mayweather-Khabib…. Mayweather, Khabib, Conor, Canelo?

While Floyd Mayweather’s wishlist for a return continues to grow, there is one name you should not expect on there for a 2019 fight… Canelo Alvarez.

On Thursday Mayweather would take to Instagram to post a “Throwback Thursday” photo of his 2013 win over Alvarez, blasting the Mexican superstar and his “PED Steak.”

 


“It didn’t matter if Canelo ate his PED steak or not this night, this was by far the easiest fight of my career,” Mayweather said on his Instagram.

“Connor McQuitter was a way better fighter than Canelo’s cheating a** and I beat the breaks off him too! It takes me 36 minutes or less to make $300 million plus. It literally takes me 1 night and 1 fight to make what you might make in 5 years and 11 fights! So really, who’s still winning? You do the math!”

4.Andrade Looks At Middleweight Title Following Saunders Pull-Out

Demetrius Andrade signed with Matchroom Boxing earlier this year for a chance at a world title. On October 20th, Andrade has the chance to reach that mark as he makes his way to the TD Garden and a shot at the WBO world middleweight title.

The issue is the man he was supposed to face for the title, Billy Joe Saunders, will be at home.

Saunders, who had held the title since 2015, would be stripped of the title following a drug test revealed that he had an illegal supplement in his system. Saunders and his team would contend that the oxilofrine found in his system in the voluntary test, was due to a common nasal spray. They would also contend that it was allowed out of competition by both the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) and UK Anti-Doping, but due to Saunders allowing VADA testing for the fight, the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission would use that as evidence to deny the British boxer a license.

Now, on Saturday night Andrade contends for the title against little known Walter Kautondokwa, who Andrade claims he’d have to have fought anyway as a top contender.

“For him to be in this position he was a top 5 guy, and I think he was like #2,” Andrade said in an interview with FightHub leading up to his showdown at the TD Garden. “So, what it boils down to is that he would’ve became a mandatory anyway. So, I would’ve had to fight him anyway because I would’ve beat Billy Joe Saunders and that would’ve been the guy next…”

Andrade, a former super welterweight champion, claims that no matter who it was going to be, he was ready for fight night.

“I’m here. I’m fighting. I’m active. I’m fighting for the WBO championship title of the world. What can I say?! I’m here to fight, and it’s whoever! And it was Billy Joe, I signed up, ‘Here I am!’, now it’s Walter, ‘Here I am!’ The show must go on. That’s what happens when you do drugs. That’s what happens when you a cheat.”

 

5. Bare Knuckle Fighting Looks At Continued Growth

On Saturday night, the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship returns to Pay-Per View as the upstart promotion crowns their first champion in Biloxi, Mississippi.

BKFC Founder and President, David Feldman talked with FIGHT SPORTS and broke down the process on how their third event is sowing signs of great things to come.

“It’s been a great process, we had an unbelievable reception on June 2nd,” Feldman said of their first event from Cheyenne, Wyoming, which was covered by Vice for a documentary released just recently.

“It hasn’t been that hard right now, after the two events, the hardest thing right now is figuring out the marketing approach, because this has never been done before. We know its combat sports fans, there’s also a lot of other fans that we’re reaching for as well.”

While it was a trek to get a State Athletic Commission to license a bare knuckle fighting event, Feldman confirmed that the BKFC’s 2019 schedule not only starts with their first international event in Mexico, but a total of three foreign countries will see an event next year with a very “aggressive” growth strategy planned.

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