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Report: Gennady Golovkin expected to sign with DAZN

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Former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin looks to be headed to DAZN on a short-term, eight-figure deal.

Gennady Golovkin v Canelo Alvarez Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Boxing’s highest profile network free agent is on the verge of being off the market.

Former unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) has weighed offers from Premier Boxing Champions (FOX/Showtime), ESPN, and DAZN over the last several months. A decision was expected to be made by the end of this month, and it looks as if the streaming service DAZN has prevailed.

Ring Magazine’s Mike Coppinger reports that Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn and DAZN chairman John Skipper met with “GGG” in Los Angeles on Wednesday, with the goal of finalizing terms that would see the Kazakh power-puncher sign a reported two-fight deal, with each bout guaranteeing eight-figure purses. Coppinger also added that “barring an unforeseen stumbling block in talks between GGG and Hearn/DAZN, it appears deal will get done.”

Golovkin is coming off a close majority decision loss to Canelo Alvarez last September, a year removed from his far more controversial split draw with Canelo. In between those fights, the 36-year-old won by KO in May 2018 against Vanes Martirosyan, who was a late replacement when the Canelo rematch was postponed due to Alvarez’s failed drug test. He is widely regarded as one of the most exciting fighters in boxing and still one of the top pound-for-pound guys in the sport.

The Canelo rematch represented the last fight of his HBO contract, and it was announced not long after that HBO Boxing was to cease operations, meaning everyone who’d been exclusively with HBO was to become a free agent by the end of 2018. Alvarez signed with DAZN on a massive 11-fight, $365 million contract, meaning if Golovkin were to pursue a third bout with Alvarez, it would have to be on DAZN. Canelo is slated to unify titles with Daniel Jacobs in May, and Oscar De La Hoya recently said he was confident a GGG trilogy would happen.

If Golovkin does join DAZN, albeit on what would effectively be a one-year agreement, it would mean that the sports subscription service can boast having another universally recognized pound-for-pound boxer to go along with Canelo, unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, and WBC super-flyweight king Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. All four middleweight titles — Canelo has the WBA and WBC crowns, Jacobs the IBF belt, and Demetrius Andrade the WBO strap — presently belong to DAZN fighters.