Oscar De La Hoya Says Blame DAZN For Canelo Lawsuit
While being sued by his prized fighter on Tuesday in U.S. Federal Court, Oscar De La Hoya, the Hall of Fame fighter and owner of Golden Boy Promotions is wanting to make clear that the blame for the multi-millions of dollars standoff with Canelo Alvarez not fighting is the fault of the DAZN streaming service.
De La Hoya spoke to Boxing Insider Dan Rafael, who wrote about it on Boxingscene.com. And, he wasted no time in shifting blame off of his own broken relationship with four Division World Champ Alvarez, and to the broadcast outlet:
Promoter @OscarDeLaHoya on his @DAZN_USA frustrations: ‘They’re not living up to their contract’. My @boxingscene story: https://t.co/Odlt1IpEkt #boxing @GoldenBoyBoxing @makeawar @stefanfriedman @RamirosCorner @canelo @CANELOTEAM
— Dan Rafael (@DanRafael1) September 10, 2020
De La Hoya told Rafael in part,
“In my mind Canelo is willing to fight anyone, obviously, the way he’s proved it many times in his career. He’s willing to fight Billy Joe Saunders; he’s willing to fight Callum Smith. My frustration is DAZN,” De La Hoya told BoxingScene.com in an interview on Tuesday night, just a couple of hours before he learned of the lawsuit. “My frustration is the obligation that DAZN has to its fans and to Canelo.
“Another frustration is DAZN’s obligation to live up to a contract that they signed. That’s a huge frustration. That’s a huge deal breaker for us. That’s where the frustration is. How can you fight a top-level opponent like Callum Smith, an elite opponent like Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders, and then have DAZN not live by their contract? It doesn’t make sense to me and that’s where the frustration is.”
It is important to note: that Alvarez and his attorneys named De La Hoya, individually and Golden Boy Promotions in the lawsuit, which is their attempt to break their contract with both. And, De La Hoya’s comments above were before he knew that he too, was being named in the lawsuit.
The 24-page lawsuit requests the court to immediately hear his case that his contract with Golden Boy and their deal with DAZN has irreparably harmed him and kept him from consistently fighting over the last two years.
Alvarez asked the court for at least $280 million, or what is still roughly the balance of his original 11-fight $335 million deal with DAZN signed in 2018. That part of the court filing says,
Despite Alvarez’ successes, both DAZN and Golden Boy have broken the promises they made to each other, Alvarez, and boxing fans; in doing so Defendants have breached their respective contracts and caused Alvarez damages of – at least – $280 million.
Alvarez, (53-1-2, 36 KOs) hired the Maloney Firm from El Segundo, California, and is being represented by Attorneys Gregory Smith and Patrick Maloney, according to the filing of the suit.
The suit has 10 complaints including allegations of: breach of contract, intentional interference with contract, negligent interference with contract, fraud – concealment, breach of fiduciary duty and seeking of declaratory relief (judge to intervene).
During one part of the filing, the 30 year old Alvarez alleges that De La Hoya and DAZN had secretly negotiated new terms for approving Alvarez’s fights/opponents that they’re now imposing. That is to say, that DAZN has the right to reject Alvarez’s fights, if they don’t think they’re “premium” opponents or important enough for the full guaranteed payout to him.
That reads in part,
“…Alvarez’ opponents “be mutually selected by [Alvarez] and [Golden Boy Promotions], subject to [Alvarez’] final approval, not to be unreasonably withheld.” Notably, the Alvarez Contract did not mention that DAZN would have any right to accept or reject any opponents selected by Alvarez.”
Alvarez makes clear that he never agreed to that kind of stipulation in his promotional deal with De La Hoya and further, he would never have allowed the streaming service or Golden Boy to be able to dictate which type of opponents he had to fight.
The suit also makes clear that DAZN was trying to force Alvarez to fight former Undisputed Middleweight champion, Gennady Golovkin, for a third time. But, Alvarez continues to maintain, now in the legal filing, that he has every right to rebuff that third fight. That part of the suit reads partially,
“Prior to these discussions with Defendants, Alvarez was unaware that DAZN believed Golden Boy Promotions had promised that he would fight Golovkin, unaware that the DAZN Contract gave DAZN the right to reject the opponents he selected, and was unaware that the DAZN Contract contained clauses potentially inconsistent with those of the Alvarez Contract.”
Alvarez and GGG fought two hotly contested fights in 2017 and 2018 with the first ending in a draw and Canelo winning a narrow decision in the rematch handing Golovkin his only pro loss.
Alvarez became incensed with De La Hoya and Golden Boy, last summer when they failed to make a fight with Sergey Derevyanchenko before the IBF stripped Canelo of their version of the 160 lb. title. Their relationship has been an icy disaster, since then.
Now, as we reported back in March, DAZN chairman John Skipper intervened and had met personally with Alvarez and his team to get him to agree to fight twice for the remainder of this year. That was to first take on English unbeaten Super Middleweight, Billy Joe Saunders, in May and then, to fight Golovkin this fall.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic shut down all of sports and the Saunders fight never happened this Summer.
And now, Alvarez, Golden Boy and DAZN have been in a “standoff,” as to who his next fight would be against?
As he referenced to Rafael in the interview, that had included the possibility of Canelo fighting the WBA Super Middleweight champ Smith. But, that fight has yet to materialize.
So, Canelo has not been in the ring since he competed for the first time at the Light Heavyweight, beating WBO champ Sergey Kovalev by 11th round TKO last November. That’s his only fight in the last 17 months with the now continued squabbling under the Golden Boy/DAZN deal.
Canelo reportedly wanted to fight Turkish Super Middleweight contender, Avni Yildirim, later this Fall, but that was apparently rejected by DAZN as not being a “premium opponent” for full payment.
So, now, this is Canelo’s next blockbuster legal move by trying to end his deal with Golden Boy and DAZN.
DAZN has yet to comment on the lawsuit filing Tuesday, but it is expected that they will have some type of legal response shortly, including the possibility of countersuing Alvarez to keep the contract intact.
Of course, all of the sides could still eventually come to some kind of compromise and get Alvarez out of the civil court system and back in the ring before the end of this year.