Last month, the unified middleweight boxing champion Canelo Alvarez became the highest paid athlete after signing the richest contract in sports history. Oscar De La Hoya, who owns the Golden Boy Promotion, was a big factor on this historic deal and he believes that the same fate could happen on mixed martial artists like Conor McGregor.
In a recent interview with Luke Thomas of The MMA Hour, ‘Golden Boy’ stressed that ‘The Notorious’ can also pocket eight-figure paydays if he pursues free agency and lands a Canelo-like streaming service deal.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) October 17, 2018
The 28-year old Mexican has agreed to a five-year 11-fight deal with streaming service DAZN, which will earn him a whopping $365 million, or the most lucrative sports contract ever.
The deal eclipsed the previous richest athlete contract signed by baseball star Giancarlo Stanton in 2014, which came in at $325 million in 13 years. However, Alvarez’s annual income when broken down settled at $73 million per year or $10 million lesser than Lionel Messi’s $84 million annual salaries. The middleweight champ said he was humbled to have landed the historic deal.
“Being part of this historic deal will require me to prepare myself even more and offer fans even better performances. At the same time, I am humbled to be selected to lead this new vision for the sport of boxing, which will without a doubt be for the benefit of the fans.”
“I am very grateful to HBO and to Showtime for what they did for my career, but I am happy we’re moving forward and that I will be able to fight on a platform that is the future. I’ve always liked a challenge, and this is yet another challenge in my career.”
— MMA Vault (@MMAVault) November 13, 2018
Big Household Name
Alvarez’s promoter is confident that big household names in the UFC such as McGregor can also strike a huge deal like the Mexican champ. However, one major requirement is being a free agent or an independent contractor, which the UFC would not allow.
“That’s the beauty of being free agents. If you have somebody behind you who’s looking out for your best interests individually, absolutely — why not? There’s guys out there who are phenomenal, phenomenal fighters. That can have those types of deal.”
“You take a look at Conor McGregor or you take a look at these fighters who are big, household names. Imagine if Conor McGregor was an independent contractor. He can easily get a deal like that on a DAZN or an ESPN+. But obviously they’re with UFC and UFC just works differently.”
The Irish star remains as the biggest box office draw in the world’s most prestigious MMA promotion. In fact, his showdown with Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 main event shattered all pay-per-view records as it amassed an estimate of 2.4 million buys. McGregor earned a disclosed $3 million on his return fight.
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/Oscar De La Hoya and The Notorious MMA)