IT’S rare that the actions of one fighter can potentially cause significant impacts on numerous organisations, but when that fighter is Canelo Alvarez, it’s less surprising when it happens. The Mexican superstar, according to ESPN, has signed a three-fight deal with Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) to the tune of $100 million. That means, for the foreseeable future, he will be boxing on Showtime in the US, as they are the broadcaster with whom PBC is aligned.
For the time being, that puts an end to Canelo’s long-standing partnership with Matchroom Boxing and DAZN. While he wasn’t tied down to either, but was rather negotiating on a one or two fight basis, six of his last seven fights were promoted by Matchroom.
This is, of course, a huge win for PBC, which is run by the enigmatic Al Haymon. And 2023 overall looks set to be a standout year for the promotional outfit, with Errol Spence Jnr-Terence Crawford taking place next month, as well as Gervonta Davis’ electric win over Ryan Garcia back in April. At the time of writing Canelo’s next opponent has not been officially confirmed but it’s widely reported to be unbeaten Jermall Charlo in September.
It wasn’t that long ago that people were predicting Showtime would go the way of HBO and leave the boxing world altogether, but that now couldn’t be further from the truth. In what is set to be a stellar year for the sport, they look like they will have had the strongest schedule once it’s all said and done and we move into 2024.
So Showtime is sitting pretty. And fans can look forward to yet more of the excellent All Access series that covers these big fights.
It will be interesting to see how DAZN responds to this. The streaming service has sunk huge amounts of money into Canelo fights over the past few years and now, for at least the next year-and-a-half, those funds can go elsewhere. This is something Eddie Hearn has alluded to in several interviews with the likes of SecondsOut and talkSPORT since news of Canelo’s move to PBC broke.
He mentioned that DAZN has been waiting to see what Canelo will do next. Now that we apparently know, Hearn claims DAZN will spend the money that would have gone into Canelo fights on other big fights on the platform. Just what those bouts could be he did not say. But this will be a test of DAZN’s standing in the sport; Canelo has been the cornerstone around which the broadcaster has built its schedule for the past few years. They’ve not been shy about aggressively pursuing big-name fighters in the past, and they will need to do so again if they want to remain competitive as a broadcaster.
What does seem clear is a push behind super-middleweight contender Edgar Berlanga, who outpointed Jason Quigley on DAZN over the weekend. The 26-year-old headed into 2021 with a lot of hype and an unblemished knockout streak but since then has been taken the distance in every outing. Hearn and others have been vocal about him recently and he was floated as a potential opponent for Canelo. Now, Hearn looks to be trying to steer Gennadiy Golovkin toward a fight with Berlanga.
While Hearn handled the news of Canelo’s PBC deal gracefully when asked about it by the media, he was still drawn into an embarrassing argument with Oscar De La Hoya on social media. The pair have rarely seen eye-to-eye, but for some reason seem insistent on regularly dragging one another online. In fairness to Hearn, it was mainly De La Hoya instigating things on this occasion, but it was still a case of two grown men trying to one-up each other with emojis and one-liners.
Sticking with Hearn, he recently spoke with Boxing Social about Anthony Joshua’s next fight and whether or not it will be a rematch with Dillian Whyte. It has been widely reported for weeks that Whyte and his team have not been happy with the offers they’ve received so far for the fight. Hearn revealed that a breakthrough has been made as a result of comments Whyte made in an interview with The Sun.
Whyte claimed that he was ready to accept an offer he had received from Hearn and Matchroom. Upon reading these comments, Hearn reached out to Whyte’s team to clarify if they would accept those terms, they confirmed they would, and so a contract was sent.
The status of negotiations right now is unknown, but it’s odd that communication between the two sides has been so poor that it took a media interview with Whyte for an agreement to apparently occur. It’s not uncommon for fighters, promoters and managers to make comments in the media in order to gain leverage in negotiations, but it’s rare for seemingly killed-off talks to be resurrected by a single sentence. According to Hearn, they were on the verge of confirming Joshua’s next opponent when Whyte’s interview with The Sun was published.
It’s not the biggest story in boxing, but Whyte makes a lot of sense as Joshua’s next opponent and there’s no real reason it shouldn’t happen.
Anthony Ogogo may not have been able to fulfil his dreams in boxing but his career and life after the fight game are flourishing. A lifelong professional wrestling fan, Ogogo is now a part of All Elite Wrestling (AEW), a major US outfit, and will wrestle in front of a major UK audience later this year at Wembley Stadium.
Ogogo’s boxing career was cut short due to eyesight problems that came about as a result of injuries, and it’s incredibly heartening to see him doing so well and being so happy having pursued another passion. It’s not often we see that with retired fighters, so it’s worth celebrating it where we can.
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