Golovkin signs deal with DAZN

GGG heading toward trilogy with Canelo

Former lineal middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin will spend his next six fights on streaming service DAZN. (Photo courtesy of HBO Boxing)

After nearly six months of uncertainty, former middleweight titleist Gennady Golovkin is ready to move on with his career. According to media reports Golovkin has signed a six-fight deal with streaming service DAZN.

Golovkin's last 17 fights have been affiliated with HBO. But Golovkin's HBO deal expired in 2018, and shortly thereafter the network announced they were getting out of the boxing business. DAZN has signed several former HBO fighters, most notably Canelo Alvarez. Golovkin making the move to DAZN all but guarantees a third fight between Canelo and GGG will occur later this year. Canelo and Golovkin fought to a draw in September of 2017. Canelo won the rematch via split decision in 2018, though many ringside bystanders felt Golovkin deserved the nod. The $10 per month streaming service has operated under the marketing slogan of "death to pay-per-view" offering future fights for Canelo, GGG and heavyweight titleist Anthony Joshua all for the cost of a subscription.

Canelo signed his 11 fight deal with DAZN in October, and has already completed his first fight with the network in December in a victory over Rocky Fielding. Golovkin's deal is for six fights. He will likely also get a soft touch in his first fight with the network. Speculation suggests that GGG will return to the ring in June before his third fight with Canelo in September on Mexican Independence Day weekend.

Along with the third fight with Canelo, DAZN's deal with Golovkin reportedly includes ownership stake in the service, along with multiple dates for Golovkin's GGG Promotions. If Golovkin fights twice per year the six-fight deal will keep Golovkin with DAZN through age 39, which would likely be the end of his career.

The signing of Golovkin means the top four fighters as middleweight are aligned with DAZN. Daniel Jacobs and Billy Joe Saunders also fight for DAZN under Matchroom Boxing. Jacobs will challenge Canelo for his lineal middleweight title in May. Golovkin beat Jacobs in a tight unanimous decision victory in March of 2017. Saunders now becomes a likely opponent for all three. All four being with DAZN is excellent news for fans of boxing, because fights for the top four fighters in the division should be easy to make.

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Houston couldn't keep up

Astros fall to Blue Jays as Toronto gets homer-happy

Houston's bats couldn't keep up with Toronto's Saturday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With an offensive clinic in the opener on Friday night, which helped them handily defeat the Blue Jays, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park Saturday with a chance to secure another series. Toronto had other plans, though, reversing roles with Houston by getting big home runs to even the series.

Final Score: Blue Jays 8, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 17-16, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Steven Matz (5-2)

Losing Pitcher: Cristian Javier (3-1)

Toronto flips the script and turns on their offense against Javier

Toronto flipped the script from the night before early in this middle game of the series, dealing damage to Cristian Javier, who so far in 2021 had been able to limit his amount of earned runs. After retiring the first four batters he faced, a one-out walk in the top of the second set up the Blue Jays' first hit of the night, a two-run home run by Cavan Biggio, giving them a 2-0 lead over Houston.

After a leadoff home run made it a 3-0 score, Javier would deal with the fallout of more walks in the top of the third, issuing two to set up a two-out two-RBI double to give the Jays a commanding 5-0 advantage. Javier would battle back and complete five full innings, getting one out into the sixth before a walk would prompt Dusty Baker to make the call to the bullpen. His final line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 2 HR, 91 P.

Alvarez keeps mashing as Houston tries to claw back into it

Javier would exit with at least some runs on the board in support of him, with Yordan Alvarez hitting a two-run opposite-field homer in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to three runs. Alvarez accounted for another run in the next inning, coming through with an RBI-single to make it 5-3, which is where the game stood as Andre Scrubb would take over in the top of the sixth.

Scrubb finished that inning for Javier and returned for a 1-2-3 seventh to keep it a two-run game. Bryan Abreu was the next reliever, and he, too, was able to retire the Blue Jays in order in the top of the eighth. The Astros continued to chip away at Toronto's lead, getting another run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI by Yuli Gurriel to make it 5-4 heading to the ninth.

Toronto evens the series

Brooks Raley entered to try and keep it a one-run game with a clean inning, but instead, two runners would reach on a walk and error before Joe Smith would enter to try and strand them. Instead, a two-out home run put the game back out of reach at 8-4, with Houston coming up empty in the bottom of the inning, setting up a rubber match in the finale.

Up Next: This series's third and final game will be an afternoon start of 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Zack Greinke (2-1, 3.76 ERA) will try to add more wins to his record for Houston, while Nate Pearson will be making his 2021 debut for Toronto.

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