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.
While most of the Astros roster is returning for the 2024 season, there are still some areas of uncertainty for the club. Astros manager Joe Espada will have some tough decisions to make in his first season managing the team.
The Astros infield is set, so we know who will be playing on a nightly basis, assuming health. The outfield is where things get tricky. Espada told the Houston Chronicle last week that he hopes to play Alvarez more in left field this season, which would open up the DH spot for Chas McCormick and players he would like to rest while keeping their bat in the lineup (Yainer Diaz, Jose Altuve, etc).
Astros GM Dana Brown would like to see if Jake Meyers can hit well enough to play regularly in center field. This is a team that stresses defense, which Meyers provides. But if defense is the top priority, wouldn't that mean Chas McCormick should play left field with Yordan Alvarez hitting in the DH spot?
Certainly, there will be nights when that's the case. The reality of the situation is all these guys are going to play, but how much and where is yet to be seen.
Houston plays 20 games in 21 days to start the season, so it's not going to take long to see if Meyers is providing enough offense to play regularly. If we get into the month of May and Meyers is an offensive liability in the lineup, we won't be surprised if his playing time starts to decrease. But by how much?
Don't miss the video as we examine how Joe Espada will deploy his outfielders and get the most out of the DH this season!
Watch Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) every week on SportsMapHouston's YouTube channel.