Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, who own all the respected heavyweight titles in boxing, have accepted a €15 million deal from German network RTL for television rights to 5 of their future fights.
A BoxingScene story reports that Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko have entered a deal with RTL, Germany's largest private free-to-air broadcaster, that gives the network rights to televise 5 of either brother's future fights for €3 million or roughly $3.87 million a piece. Although it was previously uncertain whether or not Vitali would ever fight again you have to assume a network wouldn't be willing to pay this kind of money for just 5 more Wladimir fights, who is still as dominant (and not particularly exciting) as ever. Vitali on the other hand is now 41 years old and does not move nearly as well as his younger 36 year old brother, nor does he hit as hard.
Seemingly due to his physical decline Vitali has produced an entertaining 12 round scrap with Dereck Chisora, whom David Haye was able to blow out in 5 rounds, 5 months later. Since then Haye and Vitali have been in negotiations to make the biggest heavyweight fight since Wladimir-Haye last year. Fight fans, pundits, and fighters alike rate Haye's chances against Vitali higher than they did against Wladimir and as a result the fight is likely to do very good business. Surely RTL was counting on this when they offered the Klitschko brothers this deal.
However, Vitali's role in politics may still keep the Haye clash from occurring. Daily Mail reports that because Vitali is likely to soon become member of parliament his chances of retiring from boxing increase. Manager Bernd Boente told Sport Bild, "If Vitali gets a role after the elections where he can make a difference, I suppose that would be the end of his career." Opposingly Haye stated, "The fight has already been agreed, the contract's done - the money, the split, everything. We don't need a new contract."
I can't tell you who to believe but the fact remains that Vitali-Haye has yet to be signed, sealed, and delivered.