Haye vs Klitschko Edging Closer?
By James McGowan: Negotiations between heavyweight champions David Haye and the Klitschko brothers for a unification fight appear to be progressing, albeit very slowly. In a recent interview on Sky Sports Bernd Boente, manager of both Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, spoke openly with Adam Booth (manager and trainer of David Haye) about the current state of affairs, each others points of view and conditions as well as the major obstructions on the way to agreeing to a contract.
In a video posted on David Haye’s Twitter and YouTube pages in August, Haye asserted that the fight would not be taking place because the Klitschko camp were tied into a contract with German TV company RTL, whom would not match the bids of other German TV stations for the rights to air the fight. Haye went further to explain that he offered them a deal whereby Haye would keep all the British TV revenue and the Klitschko camp would keep the German TV revenue from RTL, a deal which they again declined.
At first thought this may seem like a reasonable offer from Haye, however this is simply not the case. There is no pay-per-view in Germany, meaning first and foremost that not only would there be no German pay-per-view revenue (Duh!) but also that there is no reason for RTL to pay anywhere near as much money for a fight as, for example, HBO could pay for a popular US based fight.
In the interview, Boente conveyed that due to these situations, there is no way that another German TV company would pay significantly more to air the fight than RTL as it would simply not be financially viable. But perhaps far more tellingly he then went onto say this:
“just as an example if RTL would bid 3 million for a fight and another station would bid 4 million… you would get 500,000 and we would get 500,000 so if that is the case we could definitely find an agreement on that 500,000 because in the end we are talking about larger numbers (relative to the fights gross revenue)”
This suggests that Boente would be willing to compensate the Haye camp for lost TV revenue money, giving Booth and Haye no real reason not to fight.
Other interesting points from this interview are that all 3 fighters (Haye, Wladimir and Vitali) are ready and raring to go, and that Booth will be speaking to Boente in mid December to discuss further. Watching the interview it did not seem to this writer that any serious negotiations besides sporadic telephone calls had actually gone on between these camps since Haye won the WBA belt.
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