DAZN came into boxing with a blaze of publicity in 2018. Acting like they were the next Rockafeller of the sport, DAZN laid out millions on Canelo Alvarez to get noticed.
Hailed the ‘NetFlix of Sport’ by many, DAZN had the business sense to launch. But it quickly became apparent that they were not savvy in the field they entered.
Buying up all the rights they could, boxing was a primary target due to the Floyd Mayweather factor.
A five-weight world champion, Mayweather had earned $300 million in his last two bouts, and DAZN wanted a piece of that action.
Throwing mountains of cash at UK-based Eddie Hearn, the only big-name promoter without a United States deal, was the first port of call.
Hearn began assembling the best stable he could from what was slim picking in the market.
Other networks took up most of the top names. Therefore, DAZN had to bring in more prominent name fighters and companies to work alongside.
Enter Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions, who were signed up to partnerships for eye-watering paychecks by the hierarchy at DAZN.
Laying out nine figures on each boxer, DAZN signaled their future intentions. Just over twelve months into their deals, it all came crashing down.
Two months away from a global launch, coronavirus killed everyone’s plans and left DAZN in a daze and hemorrhaging big bucks.
Canelo became disgruntled at missing out on two of his $36.5 million purses. While Golovkin sat patiently awaiting news of whether he’d get the call.
With considerably less to lose and a lot older than his nemesis, ‘GGG’ took a step back as Canelo launched legal action of his losses.
Now, it looks like both may well have to be sacrificed. DAZN have laid off hundreds of staff and are struggling to justify the enormous layout on just two of their star boxers.
Purchasing the rights to sections of sports as a whole may have to become the order of the day. Canelo and Golovkin could see themselves left out in the cold.
It’s anyone’s guess at this point whether their full contracts will expire.
One thing is for sure. Canelo and Golovkin quit DAZN in the next few months, their bid to be a significant boxing player will leave with them.