Boxing superstar Saul Alvarez is now the highest-paid athlete in the world.
The pugilist affectionately known as “Canelo” recently signed a record-breaking five-year, 11-fight contract worth a minimum of $365 million with streaming network DAZN, commencing with his super middleweight bout against Rocky Fielding on Dec. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
“This is only from my hard work,” Alvarez told ESPN. “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.”
The transition to DAZN, home to such mixed martial arts (MMA) properties as Bellator MMA and Combate Americas, comes on the heels of HBO’s decision to get out of the boxing business and instead focus on original programming, a move that Showtime is expected to follow at some point in 2019 (according to this promoter).
“We are thrilled to be exclusive partners with Golden Boy Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya,” John Skipper, executive chairman of Perform Group, DAZN’s parent company, told ESPN. “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.”
In the absence of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, Alvarez (50-1-2) is widely-considered the biggest draw in boxing, evidenced by his blockbuster showdown against fellow superstar Gennady Golovkin, and joins heavyweight slugger Anthony Joshua as the latest pugilist to sign with DAZN.
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