Tom Lutz in New York
Canelo Álvarez has signed the largest contract in the history of sport, agreeing a five-year, 11-fight deal worth at least $365m with streaming service DAZN.
The move comes after DAZN, which only launched in the US in September, looks to exploit a gap in the market after HBO announced it will end its 45-year history of broadcasting boxing at the end of 2018. Álvarez has a huge following in Mexico and the United States and his fights have pulled in hundreds of millions of dollars on pay-per-view. However, his fights on DAZN will not be part of a pay-per-view deal but will instead be accessible to viewers who pay $9.99 a month for a streaming service showing a package of combat sports. The Mexican fighter can also earn money on top of his deal if he helps bring in a certain number of subscriptions during his contract.
Álvarez’s next fight is against Britain’s Rocky Fielding on 15 December at New York’s Madison Square Garden. “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,” the 28-year-old Álvarez told ESPN on Wednesday. “That was the most important thing, more important than what I am making.
“It’s very important for me to give the fans the biggest fights and the most important fights, and I promise you I will always do that. The December fight with Fielding is a dangerous fight. I am moving up in weight, and I don’t know how my body will feel. But I always want to take on challenges, and I am very happy my fans will be able to see me fight for a small cost.”
Álvarez earned around $50m from his last fight, a defeat of Gennady Golovkin in September. The previous richest contract in sport was the 13-year, $325m deal Giancarlo Stanton signed with the Miami Marlins in 2014. Stanton now plays for the New York Yankees.