Unified middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is facing IBF titleholder Daniel Jacobs in a huge unification bout on May 4 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The fight, however, will be airing on the streaming service DAZN. The fight airing on the streaming service will be a huge test for the platform, as fights usually of this magnitude have long been for boxing generations on pay-per-view with huge price tags.
The streaming service with this fight has an opportunity to not only break this trend but based on the track record of pay-per-view fights in 2019, shift the landscape for boxing mega cards going forward.
DAZN with this mega fight scheduled on Cinco De Mayo weekend, a Mexican holiday with the Mexican fighter Alvarez spotlighting it understands this like no other. Alvarez signed a huge fight deal with DAZN last October and this will be his debut for the network.
— Canelo Alvarez (@Canelo) May 2, 2019
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, DAZN President and former head of ESPN John Skipper stated, “We needed the prestige of this to get others to follow,” said Skipper to the Times, “Because if the biggest guy in the business is willing to work for us, everybody will.”
The timing of this contest for Skipper and DAZN couldn’t have fallen any better for this fight.
As mentioned earlier, interest in paying for pay-per-view boxing cards this year has been met with a resounding no thanks. The latest one of Terrance Crawford vs. Amir Khan, not only disappointed in terms of the actual fight, but also in terms of paying consumers as the only guess so far has is it somewhere between 150,000 to 200,000 buys for it based on sources.
Those guesstimates while unofficial are far, far away from the millions who tuned in as far back as early as this decade. Skipper is hoping his relationship with Alvarez will build not only for them but will pivot viewers over to the streaming service.
“This relationship is one of trust,” Skipper said to the Times regards to Alvarez’s contractual agreement to meet fighters aligned to or approved by, DAZN. “We both have some leverage, but if we each don’t want to do something, the outcome is stalemate, so we have to figure out how to do something that is beneficial to all … it’s mutually assured destruction if we don’t make it work.”
— Daniel Jacobs (@DanielJacobsTKO) May 2, 2019
Alvarez himself is looking forward to go down as one of the greatest ever in the sport and chose DAZN to air it on.
“I want to be remembered as the best in the history of boxing. This is my way of doing that,” Alvarez said of fighting Jacobs and connecting with DAZN to the Times.
If Alvarez can deliver Saturday, he’ll be able to do just on DAZN.