The first two fights of Canelo Alvarez’s three-fight reunion with DAZN and Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing were revealed earlier this year.
If the Mexican icon defeats Dmitry Bivol on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Alvarez will move back down from the 175-pound division to the 168-pound limit for his long-awaited third showdown with rival Gennadiy Golovkin on September 17 at a venue to be determined. A third pay-per-view fight against an unknown opponent would conclude DAZN’s new agreement with Alvarez.
What hasn’t been revealed until now is that the exact offer from Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions and Showtime that Alvarez turned down to accept DAZN’s deal included the option of a pay-per-view fight against undefeated welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. Tom Brown – whose company, TGB Promotions, represents Spence and Jermall Charlo – informed BoxingScene.com that PBC offered Alvarez a $45 million guarantee to fight Jermall Charlo on Saturday night and, if he would’ve conquered Charlo, a $55 million guarantee to fight either Spence at a catch weight of 164 pounds or David Benavidez at the 168-pound limit.
His fights against Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) and Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) or Benavidez (25-0, 22 KOs) all would’ve been contested for Alvarez’s IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO super middleweight titles. Golovkin, the IBF and WBA middleweight champion, also would move up from the 160-pound division to challenge Alvarez for his 168-pound crowns if Alvarez beats Bivol.
Alvarez’s combined compensation for the Bivol and Golovkin fights is believed to be comparable to what his guarantees would’ve totaled for fighting Charlo and Spence or Benavidez. Brown believes that Eddy Reynoso, who manages and trains Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs), encouraged the four-division champion to take a path of lesser resistance versus Russia’s Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) and Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (42-1-1, 36 KOs), who turned 40 last month.
“Props to Eddy Reynoso, the ‘Manager of the Year,’ for getting Canelo these huge paydays with the least risk,” Brown said. “He had him take the least risk for the most reward. Because he had a chance to fight a reigning world champion at 160 pounds in Charlo and he also had a chance to fight an undefeated, two-time former 168-pound champion in Benavidez. Or he could’ve fought the reigning welterweight champion. It was a $100 million deal.”
DAZN streamed each of Alvarez’s six bouts before he aligned with PBC and Showtime for his last fight – an 11th-round stoppage of former IBF champ Caleb Plant on November 6 that made the Guadalajara native boxing’s first fully unified super middleweight champion of the sport’s four-belt era. Multiple sources informed BoxingScene.com in November that Alvarez-Plant produced nearly 800,000 pay-per-view buys.
The 31-year-old Alvarez’s victory over Tennessee’s Plant (21-1, 12 KOs) at MGM Grand Garden Arena marked the first time Alvarez fought exclusively on a traditional pay-per-view platform since his 12-round, majority-decision defeat of Golovkin in their middleweight championship rematch in September 2018 at T-Mobile Arena. HBO Sports distributed the first two Alvarez-Golovkin fights on pay-per-view.
His fight for Bivol’s WBA light heavyweight title represents DAZN’s debut as a pay-per-view provider.
Subscribers to the boxing-centric streaming service can purchase the Alvarez-Bivol event for $59.99, whereas non-subscribers will be charged $79.99. Consumers can buy Alvarez-Bivol through cable and satellite providers as well.
“Fortunately now for Matchroom and DAZN,” Brown said, “they’ll be able to ride our coattails from our last show with Canelo, which was not on an app. That show had the promotional muscle of both PBC and Showtime behind it. Because remember, prior to our show Canelo was kind of off of the public’s radar for six fights in a row on the app.
“We brought an American world champion [Plant] to him and put our promotional muscle behind it. And look, we did 800,000 buys in today’s world. We also had 16,500 people at MGM Grand, and we did an $18 million gate. Remember, he had 70,000-plus in Arlington and he did a $9 million gate.”
The attendance for Alvarez’s stoppage of England’s Billy Joe Saunders drew an announced crowd of 73,126 to the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas last May 8.
That figure established an indoor record for boxing attendance in the United States. The previous mark of 63,352 stood for more than 42 years – since Muhammad Ali regained the WBA heavyweight title from Leon Spinks in an immediate rematch that took place in September 1978 at The Superdome in New Orleans.
Spence, the IBF/WBA/WBC welterweight champ, also has been a considerable draw at AT&T Stadium, near his hometown of DeSoto, Texas. His 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat of Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas attracted an announced crowd of 39,946 on April 16.
The 32-year-old Spence seems headed toward a long-awaited title unification fight against WBO champ Terence Crawford next. Brown applauded his fighter’s confidence, though, for embracing a potential opportunity to move up three weight classes to battle Alvarez at a catch weight.
“Errol Spence is that next guy in boxing,” Brown said. “He’s already a pay-per-view star. He’s doing legitimate gates. And look, he has shown his mettle. He was willing to move up more than two weight divisions to fight Canelo, to bolster his legacy. It does show how special he really is and what a true champion he is.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.