When Canelo Alvarez takes to the ring on Saturday night for his rematch with Gennady Golovkin on HBO pay-per-view, it’ll be the last fight on his current contract with the premium network, and promoter Oscar De La Hoya is openly saying he’s going to explore the options for a new TV deal for his superstar fighter.
From the LA Times:
“It makes me wonder if HBO even wants to be in boxing. ... Given the circumstances that boxing is in line at this moment, with ESPN, DAZN and the fact that Fox television has paid millions and Showtime’s doing many things, it’s going to be very interesting for us and Canelo to see what HBO can do to keep him.”
It’s no secret that over the past few years, boxing has had a diminished role on HBO, with the budget being scaled back and fewer fights happening on what was not too long ago, and for many years, the premier destination for big fights in the United States.
As De La Hoya mentions, you’ve got ESPN ponying up for Top Rank (and Golden Boy) fights on its various networks and streaming services, the new DAZN streaming service coming to the U.S., and Showtime and FOX just spent notable money to keep Al Haymon’s fighters on their networks.
HBO isn’t what it used to be in the boxing game, and De La Hoya can’t ignore that with what is, to be frank, his lone real star fighter, at least at the moment, in the Golden Boy family. If there’s a better deal out there from someone, he has to be open to it.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens here, because the winds have been against HBO for a while now, and if Alvarez leaves the network, you have to wonder how much longer they’re even going to spend money on boxing. Everything comes to an end, as unimaginable as this would have been even a few years ago.
Or they might make the deal to keep Canelo and stay on as they have been for the last couple of years.