According to a report at The Athletic from Mike Coppinger, Gennadiy Golovkin was asked by DAZN to take a pay cut for his IBF mandatory middleweight title defense against Kamil Szeremeta, and the two sides are working on — and close to — a restructured deal.
Golovkin signed a six-fight deal with DAZN in 2019. You’ll remember DAZN were asking Canelo Alvarez — who had an even bigger deal (by a lot) with DAZN — to take a pay cut for a potential return. Eventually, Canelo got out of his contracts with Golden Boy Promotions and the streaming service, but he will still be fighting on DAZN for his Dec. 19 bout with Callum Smith, and could stay fighting with them on a fight-by-fight basis in the future, which could be win-win for both sides overall.
Golovkin, 38, is expected to face Szeremeta on Dec. 18. It’s not really a big fight, which means that the first three of GGG’s bouts on DAZN are “not really big fights,” including his Dec. 2019 battle with Sergiy Derevyanchenko; that was a good fight, and diehard fans knew that going in, but it didn’t really reach the pickier casual audience. The Kazakh fighter made his DAZN debut in June 2019 with a tune-up win over Steve Rolls.
Szeremeta (21-0, 5 KO) has no real name value and isn’t seen as a legitimate threat to Golovkin, but the 31-year-old from Poland is the mandatory challenger, and the fight has to take place for Golovkin to not be stripped of his belt, and Golovkin does not want to be stripped of the belt.
You’d figure that Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KO) and DAZN will work it out well enough to get this fight done, and then go from there, and “getting this fight done and going from there” is pretty much the full point, really.
In theory, Golovkin could try to get out of his deal as Canelo did, but Golovkin also has a good deal less leverage than Canelo does, and with Gennadiy much later in his career than Alvarez, he probably would prefer to have the security of a set contract, even if it’s not what it was when he signed in 2019. And the fight Golovkin wants most, a third bout with Canelo, is not off the table by staying with DAZN. That could still be made, and DAZN would still pay handsomely for it.