LOS ANGELES — Oscar De La Hoya is preparing for a comeback fight at the age of 48 on Sept. 11 against former UFC champion Vitor Belfort at Staples Center.
The pay-per-view bout will be promoted by Triller and will be streamed on FITE, the streaming platform recently purchased by Triller.
De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions has had an exclusive deal with DAZN since 2018, but that pact is set to expire by the end of this year.
When De La Hoya was asked if he’d consider staging his promotional company’s events on Triller once his contract with DAZN expires, the Hall of Fame fighter was open to the idea.
“We've had a good run with DAZN. They are staying in boxing. They are actually doing very well globally. They've been great partners. Look, the fact that we have options is always a good thing,” De La Hoya told BoxingScene.com in an interview.
“But we have been able to establish a great relationship with DAZN. Obviously, Triller promoting my fight is different. It's out of the box. But this is what I chose to do for my career, not for Golden Boy. We have options. DAZN has been good to us. We'll just have to get to the table and negotiate and see what's best for the company and best for the fighters. That's all I want.”
DAZN’s footprint in the United States continues to diminish ever since the pandemic impacted the streaming service to its business core beginning last March.
DAZN has since pulled back from its massive expansion plans in the United States and now markets its streaming service as a global destination for sports. In addition to a deal with De La Hoya, DAZN also works exclusively with British boxing promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing.
It’s been turbulent at times with Golden Boy as well.
Over the last year, De La Hoya lost the star of his stable once Canelo Alvarez filed a lawsuit against both Golden Boy and DAZN and was released from his contracts. Although Alvarez's last three post-Golden Boy bouts have been on DAZN, the sport’s biggest star is still a promotional and network free agent.
In June, De La Hoya struck a deal with the newly rebranded Bally’s Sports for a boxing and MMA club show series billed as "Oscar De La Hoya's KO Entertainment Presents Bally's Fight Night". The cards are free of Golden Boy branding and air on Bally Sports Regional Sports Networks across the United States.
De La Hoya’s Los Angeles-based company would undoubtedly look to form a pact with a platform looking to make a splash in the United States. Golden Boy has had previous deals with HBO, ESPN and Facebook Watch.
Boxing’s stateside picture currently sits as such with the major players: Top Rank has an exclusive deal with ESPN. Premier Boxing Champions solely stage events on FOX and Showtime. Mayweather Promotions works exclusively with Showtime. DAZN still has rights with Matchroom.
If upstart Triller is serious about claiming a stake in boxing, its audition with De La Hoya could ultimately evolve into a long-term relationship.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com