Canelo Alvarez signed a 10-fight deal worth a guaranteed $365 million with the streaming service DAZN late Tuesday, a staggering agreement called “the highest paid guaranteed contract in sports history,” by his promoter.
Mexico’s Alvarez, who won the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Assn. middleweight belts Sept. 15 in a majority decision victory over previously unbeaten Gennady Golovkin, will open the deal Dec. 15 by fighting against England’s Rocky Fielding for a super-middleweight title at Madison Square Garden.
The agreement is scheduled to be formally announced at a Wednesday morning news conference at the historic arena in New York, as Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 knockouts) appears alongside Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs), who wears the WBA’s secondary 168-pound belt.
Alvarez’s deal follows news that emerged last month that his deal with HBO was expiring with the Golovkin fight. While that bout cost viewers $89.95 on pay-per-view, DAZN (pronounced “Da-Zone”) is available for a monthly fee of $9.95.
The streaming service launched last month with three-belt heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua successfully defending his belts by knocking out Russia’s Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium.
With former ESPN head John Skipper at the reins, DAZN officials have said they intend to expand its operation by pursuing rights of other major sports, with some of those plans expected to emerge by the end of the year.
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has staged a follow-up card headlined by former welterweight champion Jessie Vargas on Oct. 6 in Chicago and has another coming Saturday in Boston featuring middleweight Demetrius Andrade.
But landing Alvarez gives DAZN the most popular boxer in the U.S. and Mexico, a two-division champion at age 28 who has fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Miguel Cotto already and can consider a slew of quality middleweight bouts, including a third bout with Golovkin or a showdown with the Oct. 27 winner of the Daniel Jacobs-Sergiy Derevyanchenko International Boxing Federation title fight.
As Hearn continues to assemble talent, the DAZN deal with Alvarez and his promoter, Los Angeles-based Golden Boy Promotions, is to include 10 Golden Boy cards per year, according to an official who helped finalize the deal but was unauthorized to speak about the terms pending the official announcement.
Golden Boy’s stable includes former lightweight champion Jorge Linares, recent featherweight title contender Joseph Diaz Jr., popular prospect Ryan Garcia and it has a co-promotional arrangement with 154-pound world champion Jaime Munguia of Tijuana.