Don’t you just love it when genius people come together and make something incredible? That’s what happened in 2015 when the founders of DAZN launched their sports streaming service in Austria, Germany, Japan, and Switzerland. Originally created in London, England, DAZN is now being ran by former ESPN president John Skipper with Eddie Hearn from Matchroom Boxing at his side.
If you follow my column I’m sure you remember my mentioning HBO’s bowing out from the boxing game after 45 years was only an opportunity for somebody else. Sure enough DAZN has the perfect timing to save the day. Just like Netflix, for $9.99 a month you can get all the fights your heart desires.
WBA and WBC middleweight Champion Canelo just signed a $365 million deal spanning over five years and 11 fights with DAZN. Canelo earned $50 million for the GGG 2 fight that aired on HBO. Canelo was quoted saying that he was happy that his fans no longer need to pay $70 or $80 to watch his fights on paperview. When HBO announced they were no longer going to be showing boxing, Canelo was free to sign away.
DAZN launched in the United States and Italy this year. John Skipper, former president of ESPN, mysteriously and controversially resigned as president of ESPN in 2017 with rumors of a cocaine extortion plot behind it (Skipper entered a treatment program for substance abuse). Eddie Hearn, the British boxing promoter known for his good looks and tall stature — coming in a hot 6‘5, and Skipper 62 years old — make quite the interesting team.
DAZN promises to deliver nonstop fighting (80 fights per year) from many different platforms and has contracts with many different promoters. Joshua Anthony, the British boxing champion, has already signed contracts with DAZN as well. The broadcast team for its U.S. boxing events will be led by “Sugar” Ray Leonard and Brian Kenny on play-by-play, with LZ Granderson as ringside reporter.
First fight to keep your eyes peeled for will be December 15, 2018 when Canelo Alvarez fights WBA ‘Regular’ super middleweight title-holder Rocky Fielding (27-1, 15 KO) in Madison Square Garden. Fielding, from Liverpool, is 31 and a solid 5 inches taller than Canelo and has the reach advantage that goes with it. Super middleweight Fielding will be the tallest opponent Canelo has ever faced in the ring. Be sure to mark your calendars.
It was the talk of the town when Canelo signed with DAZN. Canelo’s contract is the biggest one in the history of athletics. This makes perfect sense! Mayweather is rumored to be upset by this deal, and I would be if I was him too! He has nothing to do with it, and that can’t be good. The YouTube videos of De La Hoya’s opinions are classic. I would definitely check them out. Welcome to the new way of watching boxing, a new trend in media, and a new chapter in boxing TV history.