Canelo Alvarez’s plans to fight on Sept. 12 could be scuttled if he and DAZN do not come to terms on their next fight, according to his lawyer.
Promoter Eddie Hearn has said WBA super middleweight champion Callum Smith is the leading contender to face Alvarez in the fall. However, multiple sources told ESPN that DAZN is asking for a steep discount from Alvarez for this particular fight, which is keeping the matchup from being finalized.
“Canelo is in great shape. He’s been training hard, he is absolutely ready and on track to fight in September, ” said Greg Smith, Alvarez’s lawyer. “If it’s up to him — and him only — he would’ve already announced the fight. … There’s obviously other parties and other things involved that are out of his control. But everything he can control, he’s on track and prepared.
“Everybody, including Team Canelo, is waiting to find out if DAZN’s going to live up to its obligations. … I am aware of no other sticking points.”
DAZN declined comment to ESPN.
Alvarez is in the middle of an 11-fight, $365 million deal with DAZN that was signed in 2018.
A few weeks ago, Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez told ESPN that he expected Alvarez to make less in his next fight.
“Golden Boy has always been about making the best fights for the fans; this is particularly true for Canelo, the No. 1 attraction and best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport,” Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya said in a statement Thursday. “Together with Canelo and his team, we have come up with a list of great opponents — including potential world championship fights — for a premium fight on Mexican Independence Day. We are still waiting for DAZN to approve one of those great fights.
“Canelo and Golden Boy intend to put on a fight in September and expect that DAZN will honor their obligation and give fight fans what they deserve; an evening with the best fighter in the world.”
DAZN, which has not streamed a live boxing event since Feb. 29, has a cadre of boxers who signed highly lucrative deals since the streaming service began operation in the U.S. in 2018. Boxers like Demetrius Andrade, Danny Roman (since released), Danny Jacobs, Gennadiy Golovkin, and most of all, Alvarez, benefited from higher-than-market compensation.
During the coronavirus pandemic, it seems DAZN is operating under a different economic landscape. However, it did just purchase the rights for Germany’s Bundesliga soccer league for more than $4 billion.
A source familiar with this relationship told ESPN that officials at DAZN have grown increasingly frustrated with the matchups that have been formulated for Alvarez. While the likes of Jacobs and Sergey Kovalev are certainly solid, they didn’t have the type of impact that a third go-around with Golovkin would have produced for the streaming service.
Both Golovkin and DAZN were on board for the third fight last September, but things became very contentious once Alvarez balked and instead fought Kovalev last November.
Part of the agreement signed with DAZN called for Golden Boy to have a series of cards on the platform. At the moment, the only cards they have scheduled moving forward are July 24 and Aug. 28.