Boxing’s marquee name has a new viewing home, and it’s not with a TV network.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez signed a five-year, 11-fight deal with sports streaming service DAZN, with the first bout scheduled for Dec. 15 against Rocky Fielding at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Alvarez reportedly will receive a guaranteed $365 million for committing to the $9.99 per month app. Golden Boy Promotions, Alvarez’s promoter, announced the new deal Wednesday and called it “the richest athlete contract in sports history.”
“This is a historic day for Golden Boy Promotions and the career of Canelo Alvarez,” Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez said. “This will change the boxing landscape as we bring the biggest star of the sport to this new platform. We’re looking to come back to Las Vegas next year.”
In the post-Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao era, Alvarez has been the biggest draw in Las Vegas and generated the most pay-per-view buys.
But Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions said this new partnership will not include pay-per-views. Instead of asking fight fans to pay about $80 to watch Alvarez fight on PPV, DAZN is hoping the addition of the Mexican superstar will lead to a boom in subscribers.
“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,” Alvarez said in a statement.
DAZN, which also streams fights in Japan, Canada, Italy and Germany, launched in the U.S. last month for Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight title defense against Alexander Povetkin.
Alvarez left Showtime in 2014 to sign an exclusive deal with HBO. Now, with HBO recently announcing its departure from the boxing business, DAZN has made a splash in the viewing landscape and now houses arguably the two biggest global stars with Alvarez and Joshua.
Golden Boy Promotions will host 10 non-Alvarez events per year with DAZN starting in 2019. DAZN also has a yearly deal with British promoter Eddie Hearn and his Matchroom Boxing.
Alvarez, 28, is expected to make about $50 million for his Sept. 15 majority decision over Gennady Golovkin at T-Mobile Arena.
Alvarez, who routinely fights twice a year, will average $33 million per fight with DAZN. The unified middleweight champion also will receive incentives for new subscriber benchmarks.
In comparison, Mayweather signed a six-fight deal with Showtime in 2013 after leaving longtime partner HBO. He received a guaranteed $32 million per fight, plus a share of PPV receipts.
Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 knockouts) will move up in weight with hopes of becoming a three-division champion when he challenges for Fielding’s WBA super middleweight title in December.
Alvarez has fought in Las Vegas 11 times, including major bouts against Mayweather, Golovkin, Miguel Cotto, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Amir Khan.