Bernd Boente: “This Fight [Klitschko-Haye] Will Never Happen Unless We Get A Straight 50-50 Deal”

By James Slater: Last night on Sky Sports, the two managers of rival heavyweight champions the Klistchkos and David Haye, Bernd Boente and Adam Booth, went “head to head” on a split screen. The two spoke on live TV and gave their arguments and opinions on just why a Klitschko Vs. Haye fight has not happened yet, and why the signing of the fight (either Wladimir Vs. Haye or Vitali Vs. Haye) is proving so hard to manage.

Booth said he is open to sitting down with Boente on December 12th, “after Wladimir has bashed up Derek Chisora,” and Booth also challenged Boente to agree to “transparent negotiations,” whereby the whole world would be able to see for themselves which side is preventing the fight from being made.

Boente made his side very clear, however. After reminding viewers first of all, that Haye DID sign a contract to face Wladimir last June (before being forced to withdraw with a back injury), Boente said there is absolutely no point at all in new negotiations being started unless it is agreed, right from the start, that all T.V money, all sponsorship money, all the live gate money, everything - is agreed to be split evenly, 50-50.

At the moment, according to Boente, Haye is refusing to agree to he and whichever Klitschko it is he fights getting half each of the U.K T.V money. And Boente says that unless Haye and his team agree to share everything, there will never be a fight.

“As I said before, there is no doubt, we don’t even have to start negotiations unless they [Team Haye] agree beforehand that we get 50-percent of the English T.V money,” Boente said on Sky. “If we agree, it’s a very simple and easy deal - 50-50 all over the world, everything goes into one pot. If that is not the case we will not even start negotiations, and [we will] move onto the next fight - either with Adamek, Valuev, whoever.

“That fight [Haye Vs. either Klitschko] , I can tell you now, will never happen unless we get a straight 50-percent.”

This demand from Boente appears fair enough. However, it may not be as fair and as simple as how Boente makes it sound if you look into things deeper. Yes, a 50-50 deal sounds fair, but in Germany they do not have pay-per-view. Therefore, Haye would get half of the fee the TV station which shows the fight live pays to get the rights - RTL, for example. That figure, as Boente said off the top of his head, would be somewhere in the region of two to four million (I assume he meant pounds sterling). So, if Haye agreed to the 50-50 deal, he would get £two million as his half of the German T.V cash.

But what would Klitschko get as his half of the U.K TV money? A hugely bigger amount than Haye would get from the German TV money, that’s how much! Haye’s last “fight,” against Audley Harrison, was bought by a reported 700,000 British SKY Sports subscribers. It’s safe to assume, then, that a Haye-Klitschko clash - after all the hype and with everyone in the U.K so desperate to see it - would be bought by getting on for twice that many fans; all of them paying £15.00 each for the privilege.

Simple mathematics lets you know Haye’s T.V deal will generate a whole lot more money than Klitschko’s T.V deal will. If Haye is guaranteed, say, 10-percent of the Sky par-per-view money, and if the fight sold to 1.5 million U.K fans, he would pick up around £2.2 million. But if he agrees to give Klitschko 50-percent of ALL money, he will collect just over £1.1 million (and I don’t know, maybe Haye has a deal whereby he will get MORE than 10-percent of the Sky P-p-V money).

It all becomes at least a little clearer why the fight is so tough to make when you realise how much television money Haye can generate; money he doesn’t want to agree to half with his would-be opponent.

Sure, there are more details beyond the Sky Sports Box Office T.V money to be worked out before Klitschko-Haye can happen, but it does look like this is the biggest hurdled to be overcome.

As Boente said, there is no point in even starting new negotiations, “unless they agree beforehand that we get 50-percent of the English T.V money.”

Would it be fairer, as Team-Haye no doubt feel it would be, for Klitschko to keep all the German T.V money, and for Haye to keep all of the Sky pay-per-view money?

Article posted on 19.11.2010

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