Gennady Golovkin’s six-fight deal with DAZN was made official today, as the fighter held a press conference to announce the contract in Los Angeles.
Golovkin will fight twice a year for the next three years, and GGG Promotions will promote a pair of cards in both 2020 and 2021, according to Chris Mannix. Golovkin is expected to return to the ring in June, which will be his first fight since a narrow rematch loss to Canelo Alvarez last September.
“I was a free agent. I thought DAZN gave the best platform, the best opportunities to extend my own ideas,” Golovkin said at the presser. “I also think that DAZN will be the best home for all boxers in the future.”
Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KO) reportedly entertained offers from ESPN and Showtime as well as DAZN, before making his choice.
“It’s not a secret that I had some other offers from other companies, he said. “But right now I have the best partner, we have a great partnership which will let me promote my own GGG Promotions, and myself as a fighter.”
Golovkin turns 37 next month, so the current plan would be for him to fight twice a year until he’s 40. Gennady sounds like he’s taking things as they come, though, and that he’s not writing off fighting beyond that, either.
“I hope I can do the six fights,” he said. “I feel great right now, but I hope I do the six fights. After the six fights, we’ll see what else I can do.”
DAZN’s John Skipper said that signing Golovkin was a priority for the company.
“We have a clear agenda at DAZN to bring fans the best fights, and to bring fans the best fights for an affordable prescription price. We are not gonna be able to bring fans the best fights without Gennady Golovkin,” Skipper said.
“He was a key element of our plan to be what he just said we are going to be, which is the premier destination for fight fans. There’s very little question in my mind that this was a signing we needed to make. I’m happy to hear that Gennady expects to fight six times, and I’m happy to hear that he’s open to fighting more than six times if he’s still fighting at the same high level. But we’re thrilled. This is a great, great deal for us. We’re very excited.”
Asked about the long period of negotiations, Skipper said he understood Gennady taking his time, and was glad to do the same in order to get the deal done.
“This took a long time because this is a lifetime decision,” Skipper said. “This is a moment in boxing where I think things are changing, and I think what we’re going to be able to do is bring the best fights back to fans, and Gennady wanted to be part of that.”
The biggest fight for Golovkin — at least for the time being — is a potential third bout with Canelo Alvarez, which most expect to happen once again in September.
“A third fight between Gennady and Canelo is a fight that fans want to see,” Skipper said. “We are focused right now on the fight May 4th with Canelo and Danny Jacobs. Danny Jacobs also happens to be a DAZN fighter. And we’re focused on the fight Gennady will have in June, which we also expect to be a difficult fight, because he’s only interested in fighting appropriate opponents. So we’re going to focus on these fights and then see what happens.”
Canelo-GGG III is a big fight no matter what happens, but obviously it’s biggest if Alvarez defeats Daniel Jacobs on May 4, and Golovkin wins his June fight against an opponent to be determined. As for that opponent, it might be wise to temper expectations no matter what any of the suits say. We’re more likely going to get something closer to a tune-up fight than a serious threat to GGG.
Golovkin worked for years to try to fully unify the middleweight division and its four major world titles, at one point holding the WBC, WBA, and IBF belts. He was also asked if that’s still a dream of his, and he took that chance to shoot just a little bit of shade.
“People understand right now, there are politics with all the belts, et cetera,” he said. “The idea is not to have all the belts possible, the idea is to be the best boxer. Sometimes, those people who have belts are not the best boxers.”