Lawyer for Canelo Alvarez says team ‘waiting to find out if DAZN’s going to live up to its obligations’

While the plan for Canelo Alvarez’s next fight has centered around a return to the ring on Sept. 12, an increasingly contentious situation between the Alvarez camp and DAZN is putting that date in jeopardy.

In 2018, Alvarez signed a deal with DAZN in October 2018 for 11 fights over five years, paying the Mexican superstar a total of $365 million. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing sports leagues and promotions to find unique ways to move forward — and taking live gates out of the equation for boxing events — financial arrangements for Canelo’s next trip to the ring appear to be a sticking point.

According to an ESPN report, DAZN is requesting Alvarez take a pay cut for his planned September bout, which is rumored to be against Callum Smith. Alvarez’s lawyer, Greg Smith, told ESPN that Alvarez is ready to fight, but DAZN has complicated things.

“There’s obviously other parties and other things involved that are out of his control,” Smith said. “But everything he can control, he’s on track and prepared. Everybody, including Team Canelo, is waiting to find out if DAZN’s going to live up to its obligations. … I am aware of no other sticking points.”

Smith’s statements echo sentiments from a Golden Boy Promotions statement by Oscar De La Hoya from earlier in the week.

“Together with Canelo and his team, we have come up with a list of great opponents — including potential world championship fights — for a premium fight on Mexican Independence Day,” the statement read. “We are still waiting for DAZN to approve one of those great fights. Canelo and Golden Boy intend to put on a fight in September and expect that DAZN will honor their obligation and give fight fans what they deserve; an evening with the best fighter in the world.”

Matters have been further complicated by a surprising competitor for boxing fan eyeballs on Sept. 12 with Thursday’s announcement that Mike Tyson will fight Roy Jones Jr. in an exhibition fight on the date. The nostalgia-driven exhibition, along with social media influencer Jake Paul battling former NBA star Nate Robinson on the undercard, could undercut any potential Alvarez fight.

Alvarez’s last fight in November 2019, also coincided with UFC 244 featuring Jorge Masvidal vs. Nate Diaz in the main event. Alvarez, who was challenging Sergey Kovalev for the WBA light heavyweight title, saw his bout delayed to allow for the UFC main event to end. Alavarez and Kovalev were shown resting on couches as they waited for the call.

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