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Boxing NFTs are a thing for Canelo vs. Saunders fight Saturday night

NFTs have invaded the sports landscape already, but now they’re taken to the next level with tokens related to the huge fight on Saturday in Dallas.

Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders shake hands with Matchroom Promoter Eddie Hearn looking on during the press conference for Alvarez’s WBC and WBA super middleweight titles and Saunders’ WBO super middleweight title at Live! by Loews hotel on May 06, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Ask anyone under 30 with disposable income, and they’ve likely at least heard of NFTs if they aren’t investors themselves. And with NBA Top Shot now a thing (check out my sweet collection I paid $9 for, including a Ben Simmons that was once worth $500 I’ll gladly sell you for $30 right now!), this is a trend that’s not going away anytime soon.

And now you too can own a piece of the action as one of Mexico’s biggest sporting stars in Canelo Alvarez takes on Billy Joe Saunders to unify the WBA, WBC and WBO belts in the super middleweight division. Weirdly-named online content provider DAZN is the creator of these tokens, which are available via OpenSea and are based on the Ethereum blockchain and protocol (the nerds know what this means).

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token, and normally they are things that exist only virtually as code in computers. But now they come with real-world goods you can tangibly touch and use as well as the fun thing on your computer.

At 12pm noon ET/ 5:00pm BST on May 5, there will be an auction for a single, gold ‘Tale of the Tape’ for Canelo, and another for Saunders. There are also another 50 silver Tale of the Tape NFTs for each fighter to be bought at a fixed price, which go on sale Friday, May 7 at 3pm ET/ 8pm BST, the same time as the fight’s official weigh-in. The winning bidder for the gold Tale of the Tapes will receive signed gloves from either Canelo Alvarez or Eddie Hearn, and there are other prizes behind each NFT.

But here’s something we haven’t seen before: Prediction NFTs where you can win prizes by buying an NFT. Here it looks like exactly one person has bid .001 ETH (the equivalent of $3.45 at press time) to win a one-year subscription to DAZN if the fight goes the distance. DAZN costs $19.99 a month retail, so at this price someone might be getting a real bargain. But keep in mind there’s still a couple days left to bid here.

NBA Top Shot would seem to have value because the NBA is licensing the product, but will there be a market for one-off NFTs from fights or other combat sport events? A fully-authorized UFC token might make some sense for hardcore MMA fans, especially if it came with some kind of special access to tickets or fight night hospitality or Dana White. But the lack of organizational structure in boxing seems to make these particular NFTs more, ahem, speculative in terms of investment quality.

But even if it doesn’t become valuable, maybe you’ll be able to burn it for another cryptocurrency to buy more of something else someday.