The marriage of Oscar Dela Hoya, Canelo Alvarez, and DAZN was supposed to be Ward and June Clever perfect. Unfortunately for the parties involved, it looks more like Eddie Haskell.
The bad blood has come to the head with the announcement that Alvarez is suing both Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN for breach of contract. He’s seeking $280 million in damages.
The drama-filled relationship has turned into “he said-she said” where none of the parties involved are happy. The crux of Alvarez’ argument is DAZN is obligated to let him choose his opponents at $35 million a clip.
DAZN feels otherwise. They feel like they have a say in what proposed fights they are willing to accept. On paper, this seems reasonable. No offense to the Danny Jacobs of the world but he isn’t going to significantly raise DAZN’s brand even if he fights Alvarez.
This discrepancy in who has what power has been the impediment that has all but had Alvarez on the sidelines. According to ESPN’s Steve Kim, “Alvarez came to understand that DAZN believed that DE LA HOYA and/or other representatives of Golden Boy Promotions had promised — either contractually or otherwise — that Alvarez would select Gennady Golovkin as one of his 2019 opponents. Prior to these discussions with Defendants, Alvarez was unaware that DAZN believed Golden Boy Promotions had promised that he would fight Golovkin, unaware that the DAZN Contract gave DAZN the right to reject the opponents he selected, and was unaware that the DAZN Contract contained clauses potentially inconsistent with those of the Alvarez Contract.”
This deal was in jeopardy before the ink dried. It is only worth DAZN’s money if Golden Boy can convince A-level fighters with other promotion companies to sign one-off deals to fight Alvarez. Of course, that isn’t the way Top Rank and Premier Boxing Champions operate. Both of those wings depend on pay-per-view especially when an A-level fighter is fighting another A-level fighter. With DAZN not having pay-per-view, a fighter and his promotion company would have to agree with fight the first fight on DAZN along with fighting any type of rematch on DAZN. That cuts out ESPN, Showtime, Fox, and CBS from having a fight with Alvarez on their network.
This has been a hindrance to Alvarez fighting big-named fighters from other promotion companies. Why this shouldn’t be a shock, it seems like it is for Golden Boy and Alvarez. They seemed to be under the impression that everyone would have to bow down to their terms. “Pay per view is dead and we’re going to bury it,” Dela Hoya said when the contract was signed.
Dela Hoya couldn’t be more wrong. Though boxing is still heavily depended on the gate, pay-per-view is style a dependable financial vehicle when A-level fighters fight each other.
In the meantime, Dela Hoya is at a crossroads. For all his complaining about Floyd Mayweather Jr., it’s his main fighter who can’t/won’t fight. It’s his fighter who is painting boxing in a bad light. It’s his deal that has become a marriage made in hell.