Canelo Alvarez to kick off lucrative DAZN contract with Madison Square Garden debut

Fresh off the biggest victory of his boxing career, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez finally will step into the ring at The World’s Most Famous Arena.

Unified middleweight champion Canelo will move up in weight to face WBA super middleweight champion, Rocky Fielding, at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 15. The 12-round fight will be the pound-for-pound standout’s first as part of a new five-year, 11-fight contract worth a minimum of $365 million with DAZN, a rapidly growing streaming service that debuted last month.

Despite a record full of big-drawing fights, including a decision victory over rival Gennady Golovkin on Sept. 15 to capture the unified middleweight crown in the most prominent boxing match this year, Canelo (50-1-2, 34 KOs) has fought almost exclusively in Las Vegas, Texas and his native Mexico. On Wednesday at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, he told reporters through a translator that he is looking forward to making his New York debut.

"It’s been one of my desires to fight right here at Madison Square Garden, for many years, so I’m happy to be here," Alvarez said. "I hope this is the first of many." 

"I want to give a great fight to the fans of New York," he said.

Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) enters the fight as a virtual unknown. The native of Liverpool, England, has won his last six fights, the latest of which saw him capture his title on July 14 with a TKO of Tyron Zeuge in his opponent’s native Germany. All but his latest bout were contested on British soil, making the clash with Alvarez his U.S. debut.

Alvarez’s last two fights against Golovkin, the first of which controversially was ruled a draw, aired as HBO pay-per-view attractions that cost at least $79.99; a DAZN subscription costs $9.99 per month and includes other big-name boxers such as heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua as well as other live  sports. The 28-year-old Canelo said he is glad to make his fights more affordable for fans.

"Forget about the prices, the amount of money that we’re making, the important thing is that the fans can enjoy this fight at a very low price," Canelo said.