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DAZN already has exclusive rights to the world’s two most popular boxers. On Friday, the streaming service nabbed the man who’s probably No. 3 on that list: Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.
Golovkin, one of the best boxers on the globe, has signed a six-fight deal with DAZN, meaning the 36-year-old middleweight will likely finish his career while fighting on the streaming platform. He’s now joining Canelo Alvarez, the 160-pound middleweight champion who’s the most well-known boxer in North America, and heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua—the most popular fighter in Europe—on DAZN.
“DAZN has quickly become the new home of boxing by making the biggest events easily available to the fans,” Golovkin said in a statement. “When deciding on where I wanted to continue my career, DAZN’s global vision perfectly matched my goals—not just for my career but the opportunity to showcase talented Eastern European fighters to the world. Thank you to my fans for all of the loyal support and I look forward to you joining me on DAZN.”
This signing has been in the works for months. With Golvokin (38-1-1, 34 knockouts) such a hot commodity after his contract with HBO expired, he reportedly had been in negotiations with DAZN, Top Rank Promotions (which would have put him on ESPN and ESPN+), and Premier Boxing Champions (which would have put him on Showtime).
But considering boxing’s politics, DAZN made the most sense for Golovkin, especially since he eventually wants another shot at beating Alvarez. The two have fought twice, and both events were controversial. The first was a draw, even though the majority of observers believe Golovkin should have won. Alvarez then won a close rematch, even though many believed Golvokin again should have been given the victory.
If Golovkin had signed with Top Rank or PBC, there’s a good chance he never would have faced Alvarez again. Now, it’s an almost certainty, assuming both fighters continue their victorious ways. Alvarez is fighting Daniel Jacobs in May, and that will be a tough fight. Golovkin, meanwhile, will return to the ring in July, where he’ll face an opponent that has yet to be announced.
DAZN said it expects Golovkin to fight on the platform twice a year from 2019-2021. DAZN will also play host to two cards per years with Golovkin’s promotional group.
“Gennady Golovkin is a generational talent with international appeal,” DAZN Group Executive Chairman John Skipper said. “We’re confident he will bring his passionate fans to the platform as we produce tentpole events with his team over the next several years.”
DAZN entered the U.S. market last September, and it’s already made a number of huge splashes with potentially enormous fights, including Alvarez vs. Jacobs and Joshua vs. Jarrell Miller, which is set for June.
The streaming service costs $9.99 per month, but it also gives a generous one-month free trial. Along with a number of MMA cards, DAZN says it streams more than 100 events per year, and it’s signed a three-year deal with MLB for a product that’s been likened to NFL RedZone but for baseball. Considering Alvarez and Golovkin were two of the biggest pay-per-view stars in the sport, where fans would have to shell out as much as $80 to watch them participate in one fight, the $9.99 per month price tag is a great deal.
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.