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Canelo Alvarez exits US $365m DAZN contract

Mexican boxing star Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has reached an agreement with Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN to be released from his US$365 million contract.

Alvarez, a four-weight world champion and considered one of the sport’s pound-for-pound kings, filed a civil suit against his promoter and broadcast partner in September over their alleged failure to deliver on the terms of his mammoth 11-fight deal, which was signed in 2018. At the time, ESPN reported the agreement was the richest athlete contract in sports history.

The 30-year-old has not fought since November 2019, when he knocked out light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. Since then, Alvarez, Golden Boy and DAZN have been unable to agree on the Mexican’s next opponent and the salary for the bout.

Now, following negotiations, representatives for Alvarez and Golden Boy have confirmed an agreement has been reached to release the Mexican from his contract with immediate effect.

“The lawsuit was resolved to everyone's satisfaction and we wish Canelo the best going forward,” said Golden Boy chairman Oscar De La Hoya.

“In the strong partnership with DAZN, we will continue showcasing our wide array of talent, including rising superstars like Ryan Garcia, Jaime Munguia and Vergil Ortiz Jr, all of whom have the talent and potential to become the next biggest star in our sport.”

Details of the separation agreement have not been reported, though Alvarez had been seeking damages of at least US$280 million – equivalent to the total owed in fees for the eight remaining fights on his contract.

Alvarez had been signed to Golden Boy since 2010. Now a free agent, Alvarez’s trainer and manager Eddy Reynoso said his fighter was “ready to fight this year”.

When Alvarez signed with DAZN, the digital sports media company was seeking to shake up the business of boxing. All the Mexican’s fights on the streaming platform were to be made available as part of a monthly subscription, rather than the traditional pay-per-view (PPV) model reserved for the sport’s biggest names.

While the loss of one of boxing’s biggest draws is a setback for DAZN, it still holds international rights to fights put on by several top boxing promoters, including Matchroom Boxing USA and GGG Promotions, as well as Golden Boy. The company is also pushing ahead with its new global over-the-top (OTT) service, which will launch in 200 countries and territories on 1st December.

The first event to stream live on the new DAZN service will see hotly-tipped lightweight prospect Ryan Garcia face 2012 Olympic gold medallist Luke Campbell on 5th December. On 12th December, all users outside of the UK will also be able to watch unified heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua defend his titles against Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev. 

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