Gennady Golovkin to make decision on broadcast partner by new year

Former unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin, one of boxing's biggest stars, will decide before the end of the year on his next broadcast partner, Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler told ESPN on Sunday.

Loeffler said Golovkin is being aggressively pursued by ESPN (in conjunction with its long-term deal with Top Rank) and sports subscription streaming service DAZN, both of which he said have made offers.

"ESPN and DAZN are very interested in Gennady and in the running," Loeffler said. "Both have a big budget for GGG."

GGG, who had been under an exclusive contract with HBO, became a broadcast free agent following his disputed majority decision loss to Canelo Alvarez in their middleweight championship rematch -- the year's biggest-selling boxing pay-per-view fight -- on Sept. 15. His contract with HBO expired with the fight and the network, which announced two weeks after Alvarez-Golovkin II that it would drop its boxing coverage after 45 years of televising most of the biggest fights in the sport, made no effort to retain his services.

On Oct. 17, DAZN signed Alvarez to a record-breaking five-year, 11-fight, $365 million deal to take him off pay-per-view and put him on the streaming service. That deal begins with Alvarez's fight on Dec. 15, when he will move up a weight division for a shot against secondary super middleweight titlist Rocky Fielding at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Loeffler said he plans to meet with Kazakhstan native Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs), 36, in the coming days in Santa Monica, California, where they both live, to present him with the offers on the table and to discuss the merits of each.

"Gennady will make a decision this year on the direction he wants to go in," Loeffler said. "I'm going to give him the pros and cons of each offer and he is the one who will make the final decision."

Loeffler said that wherever Golovkin signs, he plans to be back in the ring sometime between March and May. Also, Loffler said that the platform Golovkin signs with will also become the home for his "Superfly" series and the rest of the fighters he works with, including former pound-for-pound king and four-division world champion Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez, undisputed women's welterweight world champion Cecilia Braekhus, junior welterweight Ryan Martin and a handful of prospects, including welterweight Brian Ceballo.

"We'll get a package deal wherever we go," Loeffler said. "Both ESPN and DAZN are offering good packages."

DAZN wants Golovkin badly because of its desire to make a third fight between Canelo and GGG, a fight Golovkin said he wanted following the loss that cost him his world titles and undefeated record, which came after their highly controversial draw in 2017. But Golovkin has made tens of millions of dollars in the past couple of years and has never been driven only by money.

Joe Markowski, DAZN's executive vice president for North America, told ESPN last month that his platform was ready to do whatever it takes to sign Golovkin.

"The plan at DAZN is to make big fights," Markowsky said. "The Canelo and Golden Boy announcement is a huge step on that journey. We needed to land a big name, Canelo, the biggest, and for us it marks the start of something we're going to add to. GGG is no exception. We're engaging in conversations. In simple broad strokes we want the biggest fights on our platform. GGG is right at the top of our list. We have funds to back up what we want to do. They are not limitless funds but funds to do things that make sense."