Canelo vs Smith boosts DAZN for global launch

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DAZN already had Anthony Joshua headlining its global launch in December, and ‘Canelo’ Alvarez vs Callum Smith provides the exclamation point.

The Mexican megastar recently announced he was a free agent less than two years after signing a $365million, 11-fight deal with the streaming platform.

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But on Tuesday night he announced a swift return to DAZN (excluding Mexico) for his showdown with Smith on Saturday December 19. They will lock horns for the WBA and Ring magazine world super-middleweight titles.

Widely acclaimed as boxing’s P4P king, Alvarez also announced on November 6 that he had split from Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. The Smith bout will be promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom.

Alvarez said: “I’m very happy to return to the ring and continue to make history. I am motivated to continue to be the best, and I look forward to fighting Callum Smith, who is one of the best at 168lbs.”

Smith meanwhile is hugely confident, remarking: “I’ve been wanting a big fight since becoming World champion, so I’m so pleased that during these challenging times we can deliver to the fans a fight between the very best in the division. I truly believe I beat him and will prove that 168lbs is my division.”

DAZN is already available in a total of nine markets – United States, Germany, Japan, Canada, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Austria and Switzerland.

DAZN UK launch price will be £1.99 per month

It will launch in more than 200 markets – including the UK – on December 1, with a price of £1.99 or less.

As stated, the other big draw for DAZN in December is Joshua’s world heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev on Saturday December 12. That bout though will not be available on the UK as Joshua is still contracted to Sky Sports. The Pulev fight will be a pay-per-view on Sky Sports Box Office.

DAZN launched in 2016 as the self-styled ‘Netflix of sports’ and has spent billions on acquiring high-value sports rights around the world.

Boxing has been at the forefront of its bid to make a splash in the United States. It will also play a major part in its global push.

Other fighters on DAZN’s roster include Canelo’s big middleweight rival Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin, and young lightweight sensation Ryan Garcia.

The news Canelo is back on DAZN so swiftly again appears to increase the possibility that he could return again next year for that long-awaited trilogy fight with Golovkin. Their first fight was a draw, with Alvarez winning the second on points.