In a battle of the chequebooks both ESPN and streaming service DAZN are aggressively bidding for the signature of former unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin 38-1-1 (34).
The Kazakh power-puncher’s promoter Tom Loeffler revealed to ESPN’s Dan Rafael on Sunday that the bidding war was well underway.
“ESPN and DAZN are very interested in Gennady and in the running,” Loeffler said. “Both have a big budget for GGG.
“We’ll get a package deal wherever we go. Both ESPN and DAZN are offering good packages.”
The popular Golovkin has become something of a casualty of his previous network HBO’s decision to exit the boxing market.
The network that once promoted itself as the “Home of Boxing” shocked many with their announcement in late September that they would no longer broadcast the sport at 45 years in the game.
That move came just two weeks after Golovkin’s points decision loss to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in their rematch on their network on September 15. It also coincided with the expiry of Golovkin’s contract with the broadcaster.
“Gennady will make a decision this year on the direction he wants to go in,” said Loeffler.
“I’m going to give him the pros and cons of each offer and he is the one who will make the final decision.”
Arch-nemesis Alvarez has already signed a lucrative deal with DAZN, said to be worth $365 million across 11-fights and five years.
The wildly-popular red-headed Mexican is 1-0-1 against Golovkin and a third fight between the pair seems a natural money-maker.
DAZN executive vice president Joe Markowkski admits as much.
“The plan at DAZN is to make big fights,” he said to ESPN last month. “The Canelo and Golden Boy announcement is a huge step on that journey. We needed to land a big name, Canelo, the biggest, and for us it marks the start of something we’re going to add to.
“GGG is no exception. We’re engaging in conversations. In simple broad strokes we want the biggest fights on our platform. GGG is right at the top of our list.
“We have funds to back up what we want to do. They are not limitless funds but funds to do things that make sense.”