As it stands right now former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin remains the hottest commodity in Boxing without a long-term contract with a network. Golovkin’s team has a lot of options but each one comes with some sort of stipulation. Unfortunately for boxing fans the middleweights are divided among networks. Any deal Golovkin takes would result in hindering a fight with a top middleweight. Much of his decision will result on what Golovkin himself wants for the final years of his career. Is it just Canelo? Is it moving up? Is it a big money contract? Once he’s figured that out the decision should be a lot easier for his team to make. Let’s break down the situation Golovkin faces with each network:
Signing a deal with DAZN:
While many believe that DAZN makes the most sense for Golovkin, the only reason people think that is because Canelo is there. The other two big middleweights they have, Danny Jacobs of whom Golovkin already beat, and Demetrius Andrade, who isn’t a draw at all, are the only other two fighters signed exclusively to Hearn (who is essentially DAZN). Billy Joe Saunders is with Frank Warren, Sergiy Dereveyenchenko is with Haymon, Jermall Charlo is with Haymon, and Rob Brant is with Cohen Promotions. Loeffler stated that no matter what network Golovkin signs with, he will make sure the Canelo fight is left as some sort of stipulation to it. Loeffler understands Canelo is signed to DAZN and the only way Golovkin gets that third fight is if it’s on DAZN. However, that doesn’t mean Golovkin needs to sign with them. Word is DAZN’s investment into Boxing has hardly paid off yet and it’s not sure they can sign another big named fighter until they start to reap some of the profits of all this. Still, if Golovkin can secure a multi-fight deal in the eight-figure range (per fight), it would be a hard offer to refuse.
Signing with ESPN:
Speaking of deals, ESPN lost out on Canelo. According to some reliable sources ESPN offered Canelo around $100 million to sign a long-term contract with them. The details and length were unknown but if Golovkin can manage some sort of deal similar to that ESPN would be a good option. In terms of building himself to a superstar in the United States, ESPN would provide the best platform for it. The negative here would be getting opponents. Most middleweights are now with DAZN or Haymon (who has deals with Showtime and Fox). It’s doubtful that any fighter signed to DAZN will be allowed to fight on ESPN, but Haymon has been known to let his fighters jump from time to time. If Golovkin wants to move up to 168 or even 175, that opens up more options for ESPN fights. Top Rank has a major deal with ESPN but they don’t have much to offer Golovkin in terms of opponents even with Golovkin moving up. If team Golovkin feels confident they can bring top quality opponents to ESPN then this could be the best option.
Signing with Showtime:
Similar to the other two they are likely to offer a multi-fight deal. They have the PBC fighters such as Jermall Charlo and Sergiy Dereveyenchenko. Billy Joe Saunders could also fight on Showtime. This deal would almost certainly be one that puts Golovkin on PPV for the rest of his career. Can Showtime match what ESPN and DAZN would offer? I don’t know.
There’s always the option of going fight to fight. The big negative to this is Golovkin’s age, and father time. NFL, NBA, and NHL players sign multi-year contracts because if they get hurt they still get paid. It’s security. If Golovkin loses, his value goes down. That hurts if he’s not secured into a multi-fight network contract. Networks are paying for boxers and it’s a good thing for the fighter. While this option makes the most sense being that he would be able to fight whoever he wanted on whatever network he wanted, the financial security behind it isn’t steady.
Boxing writer Steve Kim reported that an undisclosed network was interested in Golovkin, one that doesn’t show boxing right now. Again though, with so many fighters aligned with networks it wouldn’t make sense to take that risk. What’s the point in bringing in a new network if no one would be willing to fight on it?
According to Kim, Loeffler plans to sit down with Golovkin to make a decision before the end of the year. The big elephant in the room is still Canelo. With Canelo now signed to DAZN he doesn’t really need Golovkin. He’s getting a set amount every fight no matter the opponent. Canelo has decided his future. Golovkin needs to decide what he wants of his own.