New York: Canelo Alvarez, Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN were all smiles when they announced a record 10-fight $350 million dollar deal in October 2018 at Madison Square Garden.
The presser was more than a spectacle. It was boxing history for a contact, at the time the single highest for a professional athlete if you don’t count the other incentives that are granted with international soccer, MLB, NFL, and NBA talent.
It goes on record as the richest multi-bout contract for a fighter.
That was then. A marriage that was perfect. DAZN, then, a new kid on the block among streaming services, and with plenty of that bankroll, could afford Alvarez whom many consider the top pound-for-pound fighter and possibly face of the sport.
Since then, Alvarez has fought twice under the agreement. But, they, like all of us did not envision a global pandemic that has changed the landscape for boxing and society.
So here we go. Alvarez is in his biggest fight, expect this one could be ugly and not contested in the ring. Reportedly, he is suing Golden Boy and DAZN and alleging they breached his contract.
And not like other legal battles with promoters, fighters, and networks, because this is a different era, Alvarez could get his way. Or, it could go as an out of court settlement and Alvarez becomes a top free agent among the elite in boxing.
Of course, the rumors are hitting social media. Alvarez, a free agent? Top Rank would be vying for his services with ESPN and their network of streaming platforms? Attempts to reach Top Rank for comment were unsuccessful.
Other promoters, watching this situation also were not available to offer their opinion.
However, those in boxing do believe this will eventually be mapped out and an agreement can be reached to salvage this contract. And the landscape has changed, due to the pandemic, which could eventually iron out a plan.
Fighters are not making the money they have been accustomed to see in their purses, a majority have overall been very cooperative. Though, there is a disparity when purses are put on record and that leads to more questions.
But, this is not the case with Canelo Alvarez. He has that binding contract and is on top of the mountain. Again, times have changed with a global pandemic and even the lucrative boxing promoter has taken a hit with lack of revenue and events.
And those few, Top Rank, PBC, Matchroom, have been promoted in closed venues and under those strict medical protocols. A major portion of revenue is lost without the ability of ticket sales that go into a majority of the pockets for fighters.
If an agreement is not reached, and who knows where this goes, a legal tangle can heighten the contract battles Don King and Mike Tyson had during another era. Then, lucrative contracts were not close to the level that Alvarez signed.
So what has gone wrong? Seems like yesterday, and the world was normal. Canelo, De La HOya, and DAZN were all getting along. Alvarez, the Mexican superstar, could do nothing wrong and there was that possible third fight with Gennady Golovkin.
Sources say Alvarez is more in a fight with DAZN. Though, De La Hoya and Alvarez, as known, have had their differences and it has not been a perfect marriage.
DAZN, according to a Golden Boy spokesperson, is the culprit because they turned down opponents for Alvarez and have refused to pay the contracted amount.
Alvarez last fought in November of 2019, He was scheduled to fight Billy Joe Saunders in May, but that was postponed due to COVID-19.
There are also reports, again from sources, that Alvarez has been annoyed at De La Hoya, if you can believe this, that Golden Boy is placing more emphasis on Ryan Garcia, their lightweight prospect.
Also, take into consideration, DAZN went months without live and streamed boxing programming. The network has lost millions in revenue, subscribers lost and not gained. DAZN has reportedly furloughed a majority of their personnel.
So this is definitely a legal battle that has the boxing world talking. No telling where this will go. Do know, Canelo Alvarez is in the driver’s seat and awaits his biggest fight out of the ring.
THROWING THE PUNCHES: Here is a good thing for boxing. Finally, October 17, MGM Grand Conference room center in Las Vegas,Teofimo Lopez Jr. and Vasiliy Lomachenko will meet for the IBF-WBA-WBO lightweight titles.
And for boxing fans, ESPN televised fights that are the right thing to do. This has been anticipated and could be in that category of Fight Of The Year….
Not a good thing? Showtime announced the pay-per-view doubleheader on September 26 featuring two separate fights of the Charlo twins, one of the world champions and at separate times going for a price of $74.95.
You want boxing fans and not chasing them. At that price, and with a bad economy, despite more fans watching more at home, this is a little overpriced….
And to those criticizing WBO junior lightweight champion Jamel Herring, retaining his title by DQ against Jonathan Oquendo, think about it. Round eight he couldn’t see after various headbutts.
The bout was stopped, yes Herring’s corner may not have known the rules, they can be confusing. However, Herring put the title at risk, He put his health and well being at risk and that was more important.
But an eventual and quick title fight with Carl Frampton has to wait. Herring also admitted he was not content with his performance. More so, a potential meeting with Frampton and soon would not be the right move at this point.
He needs to heal, time to make those adjustments, and then get his lucrative payday. After that, depending on the outcome, Herring can walk away and be secure. But, please stop attacking a world class fighter that was looking at his well being as that family man in good standing…
Remember those who lost their lives as we remember the events of September 11, 2001. Always in our thoughts…..
Keep It In The Ring and stay safe.
Comment: Ring786@aol.com Twitetr@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso
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