by James Slater – There may be bad news for all those fans who want to see Wladimir Klitschko face David Haye in his next fight. According to “Dr. Steel Hammer’s” manager Bernd Boent, who has been speaking with ESPN’s Dan Rafael, a deal for the two exciting heavyweights to meet is still very far from being finalised – or, in the words of Boente, the two camps “are pretty far away from each other..”
Rafael, anxious to see for himself how things were going with regards to the fight all of the British press seems to think is all but done, called Klitschko’s manager. What he heard made it clear a Klitschko-Haye bout is still on shaky ground – despite what the IBF and WBO champion’s trainer Emanuel Steward said last week, when he said the fight “must be on.”
This is not the case, and Boente says Haye and his trainer/manager Adam Booth are guilty of being greedy while negotiations are in place. Boente also says Team-Haye have backed out of a deal to hold the fight at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge ground on June 20th, and that this, in effect, takes the two camps back to square one.
“They backed out of the stadium because of the economy and now we have to negotiate everything new,” Boente told Rafael. “That was a huge portion of the deal. Otherwise, Haye is not bringing much to the table. Before, it was an interesting deal, but now he would just be a regular challenger. We are pretty far away from each other.”
Boente also said his side are more than willing to take the fight, but that Booth and Haye are being unreasonable and greedy, particularly with regards to the TV money the fight would bring in Britain.
“We are absolutely willing to do the fight, but we have to start all over again to bring them down from their high horse,” Bernd said. “Adam is very inexperienced. He may be a good coach, but he’s definitely not a good manager. If he’s not taking this chance, do you know how long it will be before Haye is in a mandatory position? It will take a long time. This is a unique chance for Haye and they are being so greedy. If Haye had a name, like a Lennox Lewis or a Evander Holyfield in their best days, we would have additional money from international sales. But that is not the case.
“They said they would just keep all of the English TV rights. Why would we do that? If you think you’ll keep all the money from English TV, what are you bringing to the table to get so much more than a mandatory challenger? They think they are bringing a superstar to the fight when he’s fought [six] rounds in the heavyweight division.”
It seems then, at least according to Boente, that Team-Haye are not being grateful for being in a position where they will receive a title shot quickly – after having had a mere two wins at heavyweight. Does Haye feel he is a better, more in demand star than he actually is? Boente seems to think he and his team are acting that way.
But if the fight does not come off in June, who will Klistchko fight instead? According to Boente, the unbeaten Chris Arreola will be back in the frame – even though “The Nightmare” has an April 11th bout lined up.
“We always told Shelly [Finkel] to make sure that Dan Goossen (Arreola’s promoter) knows that whatever contract they sign that there should be an exit clause for a title fight,” Boente said.
According to the ESPN article, Boente still wants a Haye fight more than any other, but that it has to make financial sense.
“It does not make sense to fight him [Haye] if he doesn’t bring more to the table than a regular challenger like Hasim Rahman or Tony Thompson,” Bernd said. “Why pay him more than a mandatory challenger? And he was complaining about options. Let him go fight Ruslan Chagaev or Nikolai Valuev and see how many options their promoters ask for.”
It’s hard to argue with what Boente says; after all, it’s not as though Haye were Wladimir Klitschko’s No. 1 contender.