Canelo Alvarez announced Wednesday that he had signed a five-year, 11-fight deal with sports streaming service DAZN that will earn him a minimum of $365 million over the course of the agreement.

Canelo Alvarez DAZN contract
Canelo Alvarez signed an 11-fight, five-year deal with streaming service DAZN that will earn him a minimum of $365 million. (Image: Getty)

The contract begins with a Dec. 15 fight at Madison Square Garden, in which Alvarez will take on WBA super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding.

The deal is the largest single contract ever signed by an athlete in any sport in terms of total money, beating out agreements like the 13-year, $325 million deal signed by baseball player Giancarlo Stanton and the roughly $350 million deals that soccer stars Lionel Messi and Neymar are currently playing under.

As HBO Leaves Boxing, DAZN Steps In

Launched in August 2016, DAZN is a relatively new sports streaming service that started showing events in Germany, Austria, Japan, and Switzerland. In just the last month, it became available in the United States, and has made a major push into boxing and MMA coverage.

The deal comes in the wake of HBOs announcement that it will no longer be airing boxing matches after 2018, a move that promised a significant shakeup for how fans access major championship bouts. DAZN doesnt operate on a pay-per-view model, something Alvarez says is a plus for sports fans.

The most important thing to me was being able to give the fans the opportunity to see me fight without having to pay the $70 or $80 for my fights on pay-per-view, Alvarez told ESPN after the agreement was signed. Its very important for me to give the fans the biggest fights and the most important fights, and I promise you I will always do that.

Alvarez Expected to Easily Handle Fielding

The first fight under the new deal sees Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) move up in weight to fight Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs). The Englishman has one of the secondary world titles at the higher weight class, and BoxRec rates him as only the sixth-best fighter in the super middleweight division. Still, Alvarez says it isnt a fight that he can afford to take lightly.

Its a challenge for me to be moving up a division. Its a challenge to be fighting for this world title, Alvarez told Omnisport. Its a risk, because Im going into the comfort zone of the champion, but Im ready to take on this challenge. I know it will be difficult but were going to be ready for this.

Oddsmakers expect Alvarez to have an easy time in the fight. At Bovada, the Mexican is a -1400 pick to win, while Fielding can be backed at +750.

The agreement with DAZN has the potential to make Alvarez one of the worlds highest paid athletes on an annual basis as well, depending on how the fights are structured.

The most lucrative bout on the table now would be a third fight with Gennady Golovkin, whom he beat by majority decision on Sept. 15 to win the unified middleweight title. That fight earned Alvarez about $50 million. Another meeting with Golovkin, combined with two lower-profile bouts in the same year, could push his earnings over $100 million.

But while all those numbers are impressive, Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar De La Hoya says the biggest winners will be boxing fans.

This is easily only of the best days in the growing history of Golden Boy Promotions, De La Hoya said after the signing. We are committed to making this sport as accessible as possible and at an affordable price for all the fans.