Boxing news: Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez sues DAZN, Golden Boy Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya for breach of contract in $280m damages claim

Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez is suing longtime promoter Oscar De La Hoya and streaming service DAZN over their alleged failure to deliver as promised on a $365m contract.

The boxing superstar signed a deal that was touted as the richest in the history of sport when he signed it less than two years ago.

Canelo is one of boxing’s very best at the box office and in the ring

Getty – Contributor

Canelo is one of boxing’s very best at the box office and in the ring

The civil suit filed on Tuesday in US district court for the central district of California, which is 24 pages long, alleges both DAZN and De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions have breached their respective contracts with the four-weight world champion, causing damages of at least $280m.

There’s no doubt the coronavirus pandemic has played a role in this situation.

Canelo, 30, has admitted DAZN and Golden Boy held up their end of the bargains for his fights with Rocky Fielding, Sergey Kovalev and Danny Jacobs.

Alvarez was supposed to be guaranteed payments totalling $365m for his next 11 matches once he signed his history-making deal in October 2018.

De la Hoya says Canelo’s beef lies with DAZN, not Golden Boy Promotions

That included a $15m purse for a December 2018 fight with Rocky Fielding and $35m for each of his 10 following bouts, fights that usually take place in and around May 5 and September 15, which are Mexican holidays.

This was set to run from 2019 through 2023. The $35m guarantees for each fight were due to come out of the $40m license fee paid by DAZN to Golden Boy for each event.

The Fielding fight was never going to be a box office smash, but Canelo’s reluctance to find a worthy opponent in 2020 – with both Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders waiting – has been a major talking point.

From Canelo’s point of view, it is DAZN and Golden Boy who have failed to propose adequate plans for his fights this year, even though the four-division champion was willing to take reduced payments ‘in good faith’ due to the ongoing pandemic.

Canelo Alvarez signed a massive eleven-fight 5million to join DAZN when they launched in America in 2018

DAZN

Canelo Alvarez signed a massive eleven-fight $365million to join DAZN when they launched in America in 2018

According to the suit: “Despite repeated promises that an alternative offer was imminent, DAZN failed to make a proposal to either Golden Boy Promotions or Álvarez for several months. When Golden Boy Promotions and Álvarez proposed opponents, DAZN refused to confirm that it was prepared to broadcast Álvarez’s September 2020 bout or that it would pay the contracted $40 million license fee.”

It seems that without a a crowd or major sponsors to really capitalise from a Canelo fight, DAZN were hesitant to lose money on their prized asset – but it seems like they’re going to regardless.

DAZN’s problem started to become Golden Boy’s problem when Alvarez told them to find another broadcaster for his then-expected September fight.

While they said they have been speaking to broadcasters, Alvarez says they failed to put force a single alternative to DAZN and as a result, a plan to get Alvarez the money he is contractually owed.

DAZN are desperate for Canelo and GGG to face off again

Getty Images – Getty

DAZN are desperate for Canelo and GGG to face off again

It gets worse. DAZN agreed to pay Canelo these record-breaking sums with no actual say over who he fights which plays quite a crucial role in how much a fight can draw at the box office.

Still, Alvarez says he has come to learn that De La Hoya or a Golden Boy representative told DAZN that Canelo would fight Gennady Golovkin for a third time in 2019, a lucrative fight DAZN were openly desperate for.

Golden Boy have released a statement on the matter claiming that Alvarez’s problem lies with DAZN and they are actively prepared to find a fight for Canelo.

In addition to the $280m Canelo expects to be paid, Álvarez is also seeking punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, the costs of the suit and “a judicial determination that he is eligible to participate in bouts arranged and promoted by entities other than Golden Boy Promotions and broadcast by entities other than DAZN”.

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