There was a big shake up in the combat sports world earlier this week when Golden Boy announced that popular pugilist Saul “Canelo” Alvarez would be joining the DAZN streaming network for a record-breaking 11-fight deal worth a staggering $365 million.
And since it came shortly after the revelation that HBO Sports was no longer in the boxing business, fans were quick to pronounce the “sweet science” dead in the water when it comes to the television and pay-per-view (PPV) markets.
Not so fast.
“So one fighter moves from HBO to a streaming service and that means boxing on both premium TV and PPV are over?” Stephen Espinoza, President of Showtime Sports, wrote on Twitter. “Okay, whatever. Keep believing what those press releases say. Meanwhile, we’ve been streaming all our fights (and series) since 2015, well before anyone else was doing that.”
Showtime Sports will go belly up in 2019, according to Top Rank’s Bob Arum.
Espinoza, affectionately known to mixed martial arts (MMA) fans as the “weasel” who exposed the truth about Dana White and Conor McGregor (over this), has worked closely with Floyd Mayweather for the last several years.
DAZN has also secured heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, along with a couple of MMA properties in Bellator MMA and Combate Americas. Showtime’s next boxing card will be the PPV showdown between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury on Dec. 1 in Los Angeles.
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