Fightful Boxing Newsletter (5/9) Table Of Contents:
- Canelo Alvarez vs. Daniel Jacobs Results/Latest On DAZN Subscriptions (Page 1)
- Andy Ruiz Chosen As Anthony Joshua's New Opponent (Page 2)
- WBC Orders Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Luke Campbell For Vacant Lightweight Title (Page 3)
- Gennadiy Golovkin Picks Johnathon Banks As New Trainer After Abel Sanchez Split (Page 4)
- Top Rank Boxing on ESPN: Beterbiev vs. Kalajdzic Results (Page 5)
- What If There Were Boxing Cards Made Entirely Of Promotion vs. Promotion Fights? (Page 6)
Canelo Alvarez vs. Daniel Jacobs Results/Latest On DAZN Subscriptions:
The busiest boxing weekend of the year ended with Canelo Alvarez, the sport's biggest star, walking away with three of the four major middleweight titles.
Alvarez, fighting in his first Cinco De Mayo weekend fight since 2017, defeated Daniel Jacobs with a fairly close unanimous decision to take home the unified WBA "Super," WBC and IBF 160-pound titles on DAZN's biggest test of the year.
The fight was meant to be DAZN's biggest event since being released in the United States last September and making way for what could be the start of a potential revolution in the American boxing broadcast market. Needless to say, a low viewership and subscriber base could have been disastrous for DAZN and those working with Perform Group, the entity that operates the platform.
The streaming service sent out a press release stating that more than 1.2 million people worldwide watched live on DAZN across the company’s eight current markets. In addition to the United States, home to the vast majority of the viewership, the fight was also available to DAZN subscribers in Austria, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland.
Although the company did not announce how many of those 1.2 million views came from inside the United States, a couple of reports from Mike Coppinger, Dan Rafael and Lance Pugmire state that at least 600,000 people in the United States watched the fight. That number beats the average viewership of the Top Rank on ESPN card that was taking place at the same time on television, which was at around 480,000.
Alvarez defeated Jacobs by unanimous decision to unify the WBA “Super,” WBC and IBF middleweight titles in the main event of the card taking place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight was Alvarez’s second in his 11-fight deal with the streaming service with the first one taking place last December when he knocked out Rocky Fielding to become the new WBA “Regular” super middleweight champion. DAZN did not release viewership numbers for that fight, but at the time, the app jumped to the top slot across iOS and Android as the No. 1 free app for the first time in the United States.
If we’re being honest, 600,000 is a decent enough of a number for a new streaming service whose main attraction is boxing, a niche sport in the broader landscape of American pro sports. Attracting that number in a matter of less than eight months is respectable, but the number is nothing revolutionary and definitely not what DAZN hopes to just have down the line. The company is still confident that it can reach at least a million subscribers soon enough (although an argument can be made that DAZN simply can’t afford to be anything but 100 percent confident in the product given everything that they have invested in).
Where does DAZN go from here? Well the obvious answer is that DAZN wants to have a trilogy fight between Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin for Mexican Independence Day Weekend in mid-September since that is the fight most casual fans and even non-fans will gravitate towards to the most, at least in theory.
While a third fight between the two middleweight stars will certainly grab some attention, the problem here is that DAZN is getting the third fight and not the first and by now, a lot of people wouldn’t mind seeing that fight, but it is under subject to diminishing return. DAZN is hoping the history the two fighters have and the nature of the first two fights would be enough to drive in a surplus of subscriptions. But the one caveat to that will have to depend on a heavy promotion, that was sorely lacking in the second fight.
Of course nothing is certain in this world and assuming for a moment that Canelo vs. Golovkin 3 doesn't happen in September, Canelo's camp will have to look towards other options for his next fight. Although Alvarez holds three of the four major titles at 160 pounds, Oscar De La Hoya has opened the possibility of Alvarez going to either 168 or 175 pounds in the future, even as soon as his next fight.
"Canelo has many options as you know. There's nobody that he doesn't want to face, but he has many options and that's the wonderful part about being the man in the sport of boxing. It's that everyone wants to fight him, whether it's at 175, whether it's at 160 or 168, he has many challenges. There's one thing about Canelo that he never shies away from and that is a challenge," De La Hoya said.
According to De La Hoya, Alvarez wants to become the undisputed middleweight champion, which means he has one title to collect and that is the WBO belt currently being held by Demetrius Andrade. When asked if Andrade is the next man in line to face Alvarez, De La Hoya did say that he is one of several names that are being considered, but picking the right opponent for Alvarez depends on a number of circumstances.
So if Alvarez doesn't fight Andrade next fight, then what are some other names the Mexican star can face next? De La Hoya said a third fight against Golovkin is in play as well as a return to super middleweight and face WBA "Super" champion Callum Smith or even go as far up as light heavyweight and face WBO champion Sergey Kovalev. De La Hoya did not disclosed which name is more likely to face Alvarez next, but did reiterate that Alvarez is not afraid of any challenge.
"I'm not saying [Andrade] is a top contender for [Canelo's] next fight. Canelo's wishes has always been to unify all the belts, but there's different scenarios that can take place. You remember the days in which a fighter loses a world title and you have to work your way back up. A Golovkin is knocking on Canelo's door. He was right here knocking on his door. Demetrius Andrade is right here watching Canelo and he's knocking on his door. Smith is knocking on his door. Kovalev is knocking on his door. We want to create the right scenario. First thing is first, he has to rest up and then we'll huddle up and make decisions as a team. But one thing about Canelo is that he never shies away from a challenge. That's for sure," De La Hoya said.
- Canelo Alvarez defeated Daniel Jacobs by decision (115-113, 115-113, 116-112) to win the unified WBA "Super," WBC and IBF Middleweight Titles: This was more of a chess match than a explosion of punches between two knockout artists. Both men used the first few rounds to find their range and establish a rhythm, but it was Alvarez who defended well against Jacobs' early punches. Alvarez landed several shots upstairs that hurt Jacobs at various points, but Jacobs managed to avoid the knockdown. As the fight wore on, Jacobs tried different methods to break through Alvarez's defense, including switching to a southpaw stance throughout the second half of the fight. Jacobs had success landing clean punches in the last few rounds and closed the gap on the scorecards, but not enough to walk away with three of the four major middleweight titles.
- Vergil Ortiz Jr. defeated Mauricio Herrera by KO, round 3, 0:29: Ortiz landed a vicious right hand that had Herrera knocked out standing less than 30 seconds into the third round. The fight was mostly one-sided as Herrera kept getting hit with power punches from Ortiz from the start of the bout. The unbeaten Ortiz sent Herrera to the canvas at the end of the second round with a combination of punches that almost took Herrera out entirely. From the start of the third round, Ortiz hurt Herrera with another series of punches that led to the knockout.
- Joseph Diaz Jr. defeated Freddy Fonseca by TKO, round 7, 2:07 to win the WBA Gold Super Featherweight title: Diaz punished Fonseca throughout the entire fight, dropping his opponent in the sixth round, followed by Fonseca's corner throwing in the towel late in the seventh round. This was Diaz's second straight fight at 130 pounds after unsuccessfully challenging for Gary Russell Jr.'s WBC 126-pound title in 2018 and then missing weight for a WBA "Regular" featherweight title fight against Jesus Rojas later that year. Although Diaz captured the WBA Gold title and could position himself to face either "Regular" champion Andrew Cancio in the future or against "Super" champion Gervonta Davis, Diaz called out IBF titleholder Tevin Farmer to a fight after the two sides had a heated exchange after the undercard press conference during fight week.
- Lamont Roach Jr. defeated Jonathan Oquendo by unanimous decision (97-92, 97-92, 96-93) to become the Unified WBO International and NABO Super Featherweight champion: Roach escaped some early troubles from Jonathan Oquendo to win a 10-round decision to walk away with the WBO International and NABO super featherweight titles. Roach, who outboxed Oquendo in the last few rounds, won with scores of 97-92, 96-93 and 96-93.
- Anthony Young defeated Sadam Ali by TKO, round 3, 2:38 to win the USNBC Silver Welterweight Title: Young made his presence known from the start of the fight when he landed a series of punches upstairs that hurt Ali. Ali was able to recover in the second round, but was easily overwhelmed in the third round. In the third round, Young worked the body and punished Ali, who spent most of the round hunched over and favoring his ribs. Young then unloaded on Ali in the corner, causing a stoppage of the fight and giving Young the biggest win of his career.
- John Ryder defeated Bilal Akkawy by TKO, round 3, 2:12 to win the Interim WBA Super Middleweight Title: Ryder dropped Akkawy twice in the third round, severely hurting Akkawy in the process. Late in the round, Ryder pressured Akkawy to the ropes and landed a series of punches that forced the referee to step in and stop the contest. With the win, Ryder could potentially get a big title fight in the future, possibly against Alvarez, who also holds the WBA's "Regular" title at 168 pounds, or Callum Smith, the WBA's "Super" champion who has not fought since winning the title when he defeated George Groves last year.
- Aram Avagyan defeated Francisco Esparza by unanimous decision (97-92, 96-93, 96-93) to retain the WBC International Silver Featherweight Title: Avagyan recovered from a second-round knockdown after getting hit by a left hook from Esparza followed by a right cross. Avagyan would outbox Esparza for most of the remainder of the fight and won the bout.
- Alexis Espino defeated Billy Wagner by unanimous decision (39-35, 39-35, 39-34): Quick four-round match that saw Espino dominate Wagner, overpowering him with multiple hooks upstairs and dropped Wagner in the fight. The lone blemish on Espino's performance was him getting a point deducted for hitting Wagner while he is down.
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