By now, everybody knows that boxing’s biggest draw and one of the sport’s best pound-for-pound fighters, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, is working hard to become a fully independent contractor. With a lawsuit filed against his promoter Golden Boy and broadcast partner DAZN, that effort is very real.
To recap, the 30-year-old claims that DAZN is in breach of contract for not delivering on their contractually-obligated paydays. He also claims that they’ve been acting in ill will, issuing lowball offers as a punishment of sorts for not signing on to a Gennady Golovkin clash. Alvarez claims that Golden Boy, meanwhile, was dishonest in dealing with bother parties of the Alvarez-DAZN deal. His lawsuit asserts that Golden Boy made promises that “intentionally failed to disclose that they had made representations and/or promises to DAZN that exceeded or were inconsistent with the terms of the Alvarez Contract.” Specifically, Alvarez claims that Golden Boy had used the leverage of a third Canelo-Golovkin fight to lock in the DAZN deal, something that Alvarez was neither aware of nor had consented to.
So, in summary…This is a mess.
Canelo: Failures of DAZN/Golden Boy Won’t Keep Me From Ring
“I’m the pound-for-pound No. 1 in the world. I’m not scared of any opponent in the ring, and I’m not going to let failures of my broadcaster or promoters keep me out of the ring,” Alvarez said via statement to the media. “I filed the lawsuit so I can get back to boxing and give my fans the show they deserve.”
Alvarez is apparently intent upon returning to the ring as soon as possible. The question is where and against whom.
This is where some future-telling skill is needed. Or, at least, an ability to understand what Canelo wants and who is most likely to give it to him.
What Canelo Learned from Mayweather
The Mexican superstar learned a lot from his 2013 bout with Floyd Mayweather. There were the lessons learned inside the ring while struggling with a master of the craft. Most pertinent to the here and now, though, were the lessons learned about business.
Mayweather, as his own promoter, kept a much greater chunk of his earnings than other fighters. He also had absolute freedom in guiding his career.
This is clearly what Alvarez wants now. And all it took to open up that possibility was a complete bumbling of his deal by Golden Boy. He now may have the opening to become a fully independent entity.
Sense Makes Dollars and Cents
Logically, why would he continue to grab at DAZN’s $35 million guarantee when he can easily generate over $100 million in revenue– and keep almost all of it? He’s already been pretty much his own promoter for the longest time. It’s the worst kept secret in the industry that he calls the shots in his relationship with Golden Boy. So, why not go that extra step towards full freedom?
Alvarez following the Mayweather blueprint would probably be good news for Mayweather advisor Al Haymon and Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.
Haymon eschews the traditional fighter-promoter arrangements. He often has promoters plugged into specific events, working with promoter-free fighters. It’s an arrangement that has worked to the fighter’s benefit, at least in terms of keeping financial options open.
It’s easy to see a scenario where Alvarez works with Haymon on a fight-by-fight basis. The take-home paydays for Canelo would dwarf anything DAZN could deliver.
Of course, first Alvarez has to sever the contractual ties with both Golden Boy and DAZN. That’s going to be tough and ugly. But Mayweather-like money could be on the other side of that mountain.