Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarez has signed the richest contract in sports history, putting pen to paper on a record-breaking five-year, 11-fight deal worth a minimum of $365 million with new sports streaming service DAZN according to ESPN.
DAZN will be filling the shoes of HBO, who announced earlier in the year they would be pulling out of the fight game after 45 years of being the main stop for premium fights.
Alvarez’s deal is the richest in sports history, topping the 13-year, $325 million deal that the New York Yankees gave to slugger Giancarlo Stanton in 2014.
“Canelo is the highest-paid athlete in the world. He’s extremely happy,” Oscar De La Hoya, head of Golden Boy Promotions, told ESPN after Alvarez signed. Canelo is one of the many boxers under his management.
The deal is well deserved for Alvarez, who’s boxing’s biggest money draw of the current era in the wake of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao’s run.
Alvarez’s fights have already raked in hundreds of millions of dollars for the sport of boxing via HBO and Showtime pay-per-view events costing $80 each. With DAZN winning rights to the fights, fans will have access to two fights of his per year for only $9.99 per month.
Just like with his fight’s pay-per-view sales guaranteeing him a portion if they sold above a certain margin, the same goes for his fights on DAZN through subscription benchmarks in his contract.
Canelo Alvarez has signed a 5-year, 11-fight deal with DAZN worth a minimum $365 million.
It's the richest athlete contract in sports history.
— bet365 (@bet365) October 17, 2018
“This is only from my hard work,” Alvarez told ESPN shortly after he signed his record-breaking deal. “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. 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.”
Alvarez told ESPN he’s not at all worried about signing on with a so-far unproven service like DAZN.
“Never. I was never worried because I’m very confident in myself,” he said. “I know how important I am to any platform I go to. I am very grateful to HBO and to Showtime for what they did for my career, but I am happy we’re moving forward and that I will be able to fight on a platform that is the future. I’ve always liked a challenge, and this is yet another challenger in my career.
“Being part of this historic deal will require me to prepare myself even more and offer fans even better performances. At the same time, I am humbled to be selected to lead this new vision for the sport of boxing, which will without a doubt be for the benefit of the fans.”