Ronaldo, Federer, LeBron who? In a deal that has shocked the sporting world, Mexican middleweight boxing champ Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez inked an 11-fight contract worth a whopping AU$513million. The contract means that Alvarez is now the holder of the most lucrative sports deal in history.
The signing comes as a result of a 5-year partnership with streaming service DAZN, a brand new sports-specific streaming service that launched in the US only last month - a smart move given that HBO’s boxing coverage will end in the coming weeks. Alvarez’s first fight under this new contract will be his bout against Rocky Fielding on December 15 in New York.
“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.”
However the earning potential doesn’t end with his enourmous half-billion dollar pay packet; since DAZN won’t hold exclusivity to his fights, Alvarez stands to earn millions more on top of the contract. Happy days for the 28 year-old, who insists the deal isn’t about the money. Uh-huh…
“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,” Alvarez told ESPN on Wednesday. “That was the most important thing, more important than what I am making.” Sure mate.
The new record-breaking deal eclipses the previous record, also held by a surprising outsider; NY Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton who signed a US$325million contract in 2014.