Gennady Golovkin signs with DAZN, will return to the ring in June

Kevin IoleCombat columnist
Gennady Golovkin (R), firing a right last September at Canelo Alvarez, signed with online streaming service DAZN on Friday, setting up a potential third bout with his Mexican rival later in the year. (Getty Images)
Gennady Golovkin (R), firing a right last September at Canelo Alvarez, signed with online streaming service DAZN on Friday, setting up a potential third bout with his Mexican rival later in the year. (Getty Images)

Gennady Golovkin signed a three-year, six-fight deal with DAZN on Friday that guarantees he’ll fight twice a year through 2021 and gives the online streaming service a formidable roster of the world’s best middleweights.

DAZN now boasts a middleweight lineup that includes Canelo Alvarez, the WBA-WBC champion; IBF champion Daniel Jacobs; WBO champion Demetrius Andrade; and now Golovkin, the former champion.

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Terms of the deal were not announced, but given that Alvarez signed an 11-fight, $365 million deal in October, it’s believed that Golovkin will make in excess of $100 million from the contract. A DAZN spokesman refused to either confirm or deny that.

The deal also calls for Golovkin’s company, GGG Promotions, to promote two shows a year on the service. It is a way for Golovkin to showcase some of the Eastern European talent he has signed.

“DAZN has quickly become the new home of boxing by making the biggest events easily available to the fans,” Golovkin said in a statement. “When deciding on where I wanted to continue my career, DAZN’s global vision perfectly matched my goals, not just for my career but the opportunity to showcase talented Eastern European fighters to the world. Thank you to my fans for all of the loyal support and I look forward to you joining me on DAZN.”

The signing seems to set up a third fight with Alvarez, who will meet Jacobs on March 4 in a unification bout. Alvarez and Golovkin have had two spirited battles, the outcomes of which were both hotly disputed. They fought to a split draw on Sept. 16, 2017, in a bout most observers believed Golovkin won.

Judge Dave Moretti favored Golovkin 115-113 in that fight, and judge Don Trella had it even at 114-114. But judge Adelaide Byrd’s 118-110 card in favor of Alvarez raised eyebrows and forced the draw.

They were to fight again in May 2018, but Alvarez tested positive in February 2018 for the banned substance Clenbuterol. That led to a six-month suspension and the postponement of the rematch until Sept. 15. Alvarez won a majority decision that was not as controversial, though many, including Golovkin himself, still believed he won.

Gennady Golovkin (L) and Canelo Alvarez embrace following their rematch on Sept. 15, 2018, in Las Vegas. They could meet in a third fight later this year since both are now signed with DAZN. (Getty Images)
Gennady Golovkin (L) and Canelo Alvarez embrace following their rematch on Sept. 15, 2018, in Las Vegas. They could meet in a third fight later this year since both are now signed with DAZN. (Getty Images)

Judges Steve Weisfeld and Moretti had Alvarez 115-113 in the rematch, while Glenn Feldman scored it 114-114. Golovkin was bitter at the scoring, believing he’d won.

But his signing on Friday was a coup for DAZN, which also has unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua under contract. Joshua will fight Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York on DAZN.

DAZN’s marketing pitch has been that its $9.99 monthly fee will spell the end of pay-per-view, and at that price, boxing fans can see Alvarez-Jacobs on May 4, Joshua-Miller on June 1 and the return of Golovkin, as well as a potential third bout with Alvarez.

Gennady Golovkin is a generational talent with international appeal,” said John Skipper, the DAZN Group executive chairman. “We’re confident he will bring his passionate fans to the platform as we produce tentpole events with his team over the next several years.”

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