Canelo Alvarez destroyed Rocky Fielding in Madison Square Garden. The bout was his debut on streaming service DAZN and by all accounts, it was a successful one.
In front of a crowd of 20,112 on Saturday night, unified World Middleweight Champion Canelo Álvarez moved up a weight class and stopped Fielding via third-round stoppage. Alvarez is now the WBA World Super Middleweight titlist joining an elite group of three-division Mexican world champions.
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Brilliant move to nab another belt in his MSG, NYC, and DAZN debut by Golden Boy Promotions. Also, brilliant to keep the same pro-Mexican energy that a GB fight maintains on the West coast.
However, there was one mistake: Rocky Fielding.
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DAZN entered the boxing world late this year and immediately turned the world on its head. By introducing the subscriber model to combat sports, the value of sports entertainment is lessened by a monthly fee. The pay-per-view price point now seems like an aging model.
As such marquee value was needed and achieved with Canelo Alvarez, along with British heavyweight Anthony Joshua, fans will demand two things; loads of content and great fights.
Instead, what fans received were great fanfare and a mediocre main event.
Canelo dropped Fielding not once, not twice, but four times before the fight was waved off in three. Then a lackluster faceoff was staged in the ring with current IBF Middleweight World Champion, Daniel Jacobs, who is a broadcast free agent currently.
Unlike the famous Gennady “GGG” Golovkin faceoff after Alvarez destroyed Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., there were no guarantees made on their pairing. Conversely, as the smiling Joshua made his rounds around NYC confirming an April 13th date at Wembley Stadium, no guarantees are made for his fight with Deontay Wilder.
DAZN is executing a great experiment here and actually has the firepower to pull streaming off in combat sports. Care must be given, however, that the fans and their intelligence aren’ taken for granted.
A lemon is a lemon. NYC and also the combat world indeed have a lemon law.