Having been without any live boxing programming for the last three and a half months, DAZN streaming made official Monday afternoon that they will return with televised fight cards in late July.
The subscription based service confirmed what had been rumored for several weeks that Vergil Ortiz, Jr. will headline their first fight card back on Friday night July 24th.
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— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) June 29, 2020
Ortiz, unbeaten at 15 – 0, will take on Sammy Vargas in a 10-round Welterweight showdown at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. This fight card will be held without fans, for now, in California.
The announcement is a welcomed relief for DAZN, at least for now, as rumors continued to circulate that they are in serious financial trouble due to the shutdown of sports, including boxing, worldwide. DAZN has reportedly lost tens of millions in subscriber fees over the last 90 days.
DAZN had originally hoped that unbeaten Lightweight contender, Ryan Garcia, would headline for them this coming weekend (July 4th). But, two weeks ago Golden Boy owner/promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, made clear that Garcia was refusing to fight any of the opponents they had put in front of him for that proposed card.
It remains unclear if Garcia will be plugged in anytime soon on a future DAZN show?
For now, the streaming service which has a partnership with Matchroom Boxing will press on with that partnership, also. That includes a Saturday night August 15th card from Matchroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
That’s, where Julio Cesar Martinez, 16-1-1, will defend his WBC Flyweight World Title against McWilliams Arroyo.
DAZN is scheduled to come back with its own produced show, through Golden Boy, on Friday night August 28th. On that night, former three division World Champ, Jorge Linares (who was rumored to have been the opponent that Garcia did not want to fight), will instead battle Javier Fortuna back again at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in California.
Certainly, the streaming service could plug in other fights in August if it were to work out. And it is likely that the streaming service will make use of Matchroom and Eddie Hearn’s “Fight Camp” shows that will originate from the backyard of their headquarters in England, throughout August and televise them in the U.S.
What remains to be seen is if the top superstar signed by DAZN, four division World Champ Canelo Alvarez, can help regenerate large numbers of subscribers, whenever he gets back in the ring later in 2020. However, DAZN and Golden Boy are not likely to have Canelo fight without fans in attendance.
Finally, through the deal with Matchroom, they can also show the long delayed Unified Heavyweight Champ Anthony Joshua’s next title fight with Kubrat Pulev. That’s rumored to be in October or November, when and where at least some fans can attend.