Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has signed the most lucrative contract in sport history, after agreeing a five-year, 11-fight worth $365million with DAZN, the US digital sports streaming channel. The fighter’s new contract begins with his move up a division to super middleweight as challenger to Liverpudlian Rocky Fielding’s WBA Regular world title at Madison Square Garden, New York, on December 15.
The contract with DAZN is the largest contract ever for a sportsman, greater than the 13-year, $325 million agreement that New York Yankees hitter Giancarlo Stanton signed in 2014 to move from the Miami Marlins.
The 28-year-old, who turned professional aged 16 and carries a record of 50 victories, two draws and a single defeat – to Floyd Mayweather – and is signed with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions stable, recently defeated Gennady Golovkin on points in a razor tight rematch in Las Vegas to become the middleweight king.
Alvarez had drawn the first fight controversially on the judges’ cards a year earlier, and courted even more controversy between the fights after being suspended for six months for two out-of-competition positive tests for the banned substance clenbuterol. The fighter claimed in a hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission that it was from consuming tainted meat in Mexico.
“This is only from my hard work,” Alvarez told ESPN shortly after he signed the paperwork. “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.”
The deal with Alvarez will also include Golden Boy Promotions producing ten events a year that will stream live on DAZN beginning from 2019.
The two men brawled at a news conference in Munich in 2012, on the night Chisora had unsuccessfully challenged Vitali Klitschko for the world title, later settling the matter with a fight at West Ham United’s Boleyn Ground in London six months later. From foes to friends, they are now business partners.