The Financial Factor: Canelo vs. Triple G
By: Kirk Jackson
Now that we finally have the fight boxing fans have craved over the last year or so, there’s much to discuss leading up to the event featuring Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin 37-0 (33 KO’s) and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez 49-1-1(34 KO’s).
An interesting element is the financial factor behind the scenes in build up to this fight.
Alvarez is regarded and marketed as the biggest star in boxing; the heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather in what Alvarez himself states as the “Canelo era.”
Golovkin is certainly advertised as boxing’s “Boogeyman” and resident “A-side,” having sold out arenas such as Madison Square Garden in New York and the O2 Arena in London.
Unfortunately, his pay-per-view numbers do not reflect that.
Nonetheless, you would think two stars garnering this much celebrity would warrant higher fight purses right?
Taking a look at recent purses for each fighter:
Alvarez vs. Cotto = minimum purse $5 million
Alvarez vs. Khan = minimum purse $3.5 million
Alvarez vs. Mayweather = minimum purse $5 million
Alvarez vs. Chavez Jr. = minimum purse $5 million
Golovkin vs. Jacobs = minimum purse $2.5 million
Golovkin vs. Brook = minimum purse $5 million
Golovkin vs. Lemieux = minimum purse $2 million
The purses do not reflect additional income earned from each fight. For example, with Alvarez’s fight against Cotto, he received 25% of the $20 million split. Most of the money Alvarez earned for that fight came with the pay-per-view percentages and with his TV deal with the Azteca network.
Alvarez is also sponsored by Tecate, Under Armour and a few other companies. In addition to his television deals, he earns money each fight with his sponsors.
The same can be said for Golovkin. In the two pay-per-view fights he participated in, it’s presumed he was the A-side and gained a favorable split of the purse and pay-per-view percentages.
Albeit, he lacks the same quality dance partners as Alvarez, we can assume he earned a decent chunk of change aside from his guaranteed purse just to show up.
Golovkin is also sponsored by the Jordan brand, among other sponsors and reels in additional funds per fight.
All of these factors into the determination of the purse split, the question is of how much will each fighter earn for this mega fight?
Because based on the WWE-themed entrance from Golovkin – post Alvarez’s sparring session with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. this past weekend, it’s obvious the fight between Golovkin and Alvarez was agreed to sometime prior.
Based on each fighter’s purse history, the popularity of Alvarez, his history of pay-per-view success and the demand to see him against Golovkin’s punching power; each fighter should be compensated quite well.
The venue and site for this blockbuster fight is yet to be determined, but this event will probably take place in boxing’s fight capital Las Vegas.
Although something to consider as Golden Boy Promotions, K2 Promotions and HBO figures out is which site can harvest the most money?
Regarding purses, remember when Golden Boy offered Golovkin a purse of $15 million to fight Alvarez?
“I made an eight-figure offer,” said Golden Boy Promoter Oscar De La Hoya. “ I believe it’s an offer that was two, three, four times what he’s ever made and haven’t heard back. And that’s the bottom line.”
Golden Boy’s offer is speculative, but there was no denial from the Golovkin camp regarding the offer. It’d be farfetched to believe that initial offer was still on the table.
Regarding purse split/fighter compensation, Alvarez is the A-side. He has the greater profile, the aforementioned bigger fights and generated larger gates and pay-per-view numbers.
Prior to the fight officially being announced, De La Hoya has been adamant his fighter is the A-side in this matchup and indicated to the LA Times’ Lance Pugmire, that he holds leverage regarding the fight with Golovkin based off of his lack of pay-per-view success.
“Because when Triple G [Golovkin] and Jacobs does between 100,000 and 200,000 homes, it’s a big risk for me to put up a lot of money up front,” De La Hoya said. “So if we want to make this fight happen, we have to work with each other. It all depends on the pay-per-view and that’s the risk we all have to take.”
“People talk about Golovkin being this big superstar. Why is he selling only between 100,000 and 200,000 homes?” De La Hoya asked. “He’s no Canelo [Alvarez], that’s for sure.”
Golovkin is not Alvarez in regards to drawing power, but he is the long time reigning middleweight champion. All he really needs is the golden opportunity he’s been seeking his entire professional career.
In that sense, the financial split doesn’t matter as much. If Golovkin plans on fighting after the Alvarez match-up and wants to become boxing’s No. 1 draw, it may be proposed that he must defeat the A-side to truly become the A-side.
The greatest thing regarding this fight and the financial effect is the positive spotlight it puts on boxing.
Barring a potential Floyd Mayweather vs. ConorMcGregor match-up, this will be the biggest bout in boxing and will generate the most money this year.
For all the numbers and records amassed with Anthony Joshua vs. WladimirKlitschko; pay-per-view record inthe United Kingdom, while breaking the attendance record at Wembley Stadium with approximately 90,000 people.
659,000 viewers on Showtime; Nielsen reported that the fight peaked between rounds five and six with 687,000 viewers, beating a record for Showtime afternoon fight ratings,along with the successful broadcast across HBO, watched by an average of 738,000 viewers and peaked at 890,000.
The Alvarez vs. Golovkin fight can surpass viewership and pay-per-view numbers of the Joshua/Klitschko fight, if not the attendance numbers.
Cotto vs. Alvarez generated 900,000 buys, approximately $58 million in domestic pay-per-view revenue and HBO is hoping it can top that in September.
We’ll see if the Mexican-style “Drama show” produces the big bucks.