by Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com spoke with Bernd Boente, manager of WBO/IBO/IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, to get an update on the ongoing negotiations for a unification clash with WBA champion David Haye. In an earlier news brief on BoxingScene, Haye's manager Adam Booth advised British paper, The Guardian, that his fighter agreed to a full 50-50 deal, but Klitschko was refusing to sign a contract.
"I have been negotiating with Bernd Boente, Wladimir Klitschko's manager, and two days ago I offered him a 50-50 split of everything, including the British pay-per-view money. And that the fight could be on RTL [German TV network] and could be held anywhere they wanted to make the most revenue, including in Germany.
"Those were the only two points we were negotiating. But Bernd Boente came back and said: 'No point continuing. Forget about it. You do your fight and we'll do ours.' Wladimir was copied in on all the emails so I don't know why they are refusing. That is the question Boente refused to answer. Either Wladimir does not want to fight David Haye or, maybe, it is because they have this deal with RTL and they want to get that fight out of the way."
According to Boente, Booth is not disclosing the exact details which are currently preventing the negotiations from moving forward. Booth's statements are not entirely false. Haye finally agreed to a 50-50 split on the revenue generated from British pay-per-view. In the past, Haye refused to split the British television money.
However, an entirely new problem came up.
The Klitschko brothers have an exclusive television contract with RTL. Booth is claiming that rival German network ARD, the television partner of Haye's co-promoter Sauerland Event, is willing to pay a higher licensing fee to carry the fight on their network. Booth wants Klitschko's side to pay the difference between the two television offers.
Klitschko and his team have no interest in paying the difference because Haye's co-promotional agreements have nothing to do with them. If Haye wants to do the fight right now, Boente has advised him to regulate the situation with Sauerland. If he doesn't, then the fight is pushed back to a later date and Klitschko moves forward with a title defense against Dereck Chisora.
Boente told BoxingScene that he was personally informed by some very reliable sources that ARD has no intention on making an offer on Klitschko-Haye. He believes Sauerland is leading Booth on.
"Booth is complaining that another TV station in Germany is willing to pay more money. For example, if RTL was paying $1 million and then ARD wanted to pay $1.5 million, he wants us to personally pay the difference to him, $500,000, so he can pay his partner, Sauerland. What do we have to do with the deal on your side? I told him 'yes' to 50-50, but he has to honor our current deal with RTL. Our deal is for two more Klitschko fights, Wladimir or Vitali. Vitali Klitschko against Solis in March and then the fight afterwards is Wladimir's fight," Boente told BoxingScene.com.
"So either we fight Chisora and then the [RTL] contract will be over and then we can discuss it. We will likely remain with RTL which is our long term partner, but there could be a different possibility then. But right now, we have a contract with RTL. He has to honor it or pass and we have to pass, and he has to fight [Ruslan] Chagaev and we have to fight Chisora - and then we try to make a deal afterwards. If he wants the fight now, he has to understand that we have a deal with RTL and we have to live with that deal."
"Sauerland told him that he will get more money from their German TV. But, there is something that Adam does not understand. The TV executives on the absolute highest level talk to each other in general, and not only on this small issue. I can definitely tell you that ARD will not make an offer for this fight. Whatever Sauerland tells him is nonsense, it's not the truth."
"I told him, 'Adam, if you want to show me an official letter from ARD making the offer, let me see it,' but he can't deliver. The only thing that he can deliver is emails from Sauerland telling him that he can get more money, but we don't care because there is no offer. There won't be no offer right now because they [ARD] honor the contract we have with RTL and that's the end of the story."
Klitschko has to reach an agreement with Haye by the first week of January or honor a pre-existing agreement to reschedule his canceled fight with Chisora.