It was once the largest contract ever signed by a professional athlete. Now it no longer exists.
Boxing star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has severed ties with Golden Boy Promotions, which has represented him since 2010, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. As part of the separation, his record $365 million deal with streaming service DAZN is no longer active, the person said.
The news comes just two months after Alvarez filed a lawsuit in federal court against both Golden Boy and DAZN. The lawsuit, which also named Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya, stemmed from disagreements about whom the middleweight champion should fight next and included claims of fraud, breach of contract, breach of good faith and interference with prospective economic relations.
The lawsuit revealed discrepancies between the fighter’s deal with Golden Boy and Golden Boy’s deal with DAZN (which included the $365 million for 11 Canelo fights, signed in 2018), which were irreconcilable, the person said.
In his lawsuit, Alvarez was seeking at least $280 million in damages and the right to schedule fights without input from DAZN or Golden Boy. The details of the separation agreement between the entities are not clear.
A DAZN spokesman declined to comment. A spokesman for Golden Boy didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
The fight between the boxer and his reps and media partner sheds light onto how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted boxing, which was much slower than other sports to get back to holding events. It also highlighted the tensions that often exist among different stakeholders when trying to schedule bouts.
Canelo’s signing was a major step for DAZN, which prior to 2018 was streaming in just a handful of specific international markets. The company was seeking a way into a saturated U.S. sports media landscape and, with all the major leagues locked into long-term deals, chose to focus primarily on boxing, where deep pockets could immediately access the sport’s biggest stars.
DAZN recently announced plans to launch globally through its boxing rights, and while losing one of boxing’s biggest stars isn’t ideal, it likely frees up hundreds of millions that the company can allocate elsewhere. Canelo fought just three of the 11 bouts under the contract.
Alvarez, 30, is 53-1-2 as a professional. His lone loss was in 2013 to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
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