Vitali Klitschko and David Haye may or may not be on a collision course, but either way, no deal is going to come easily. (Photos by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images and Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
As the topic of a possible Vitali Klitschko vs David Haye fight has kicked up some dust again today, and is far more interesting than the mockery of a title fight we saw in Germany, let's talk some more about it.
Haye has said that Klitschko manager Bernd Boente is the voice standing in the way of a Vitali vs Haye fight, and now the manager has had his say in return. From BoxingScene.com:
Bernd Boente, manager of WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, disputes a Twitter announcement by British heavyweight David Haye, who claims Vitali agreed to fight him next. ... According to Boente, Haye is a demanding a "ridiculous guarantee" and "50% of the British pay-per-view" - demands which the Klitschko side is not willing to accommodate.
Klitschko (44-2, 40 KO) and Haye (25-2, 23 KO) have negotiated for a fight since late last year, as both sides either feel there is unfinished business between the sides, or simply feel the fight is worth so much money that they shouldn't pass it up.
The two fighters seem to want the fight, whatever their reason is. In pure storyline terms, Vitali would be going to finish the job that Wladimir started last July, and Haye would be coming for a chance at redemption. Haye says he's firmly retired, but will come back to face the Klitschko brothers, and no one else. He recently dismissed talk of fighting Dereck Chisora, following their brawl in Germany.
Haye's manager-trainer Adam Booth has said that the two sides have trouble negotiating, which is obvious:
"I've negotiated with them four times now. There's only been one fight. This is the fourth occasion I've negotiated with them, so -- they're not easy people to deal with. But then they probably think the same thing about us."
Unlike most Klitschko opponents, Haye has actual value when he fights -- he does sell tickets, he does draw TV ratings, he does have a fan base, even if diminished now from its peak. The problem is, does he sell enough tickets, draw good enough ratings, and have enough fans to justify his demands? That seems the hold-up now.
Haye and Booth have sharply criticized the demands of the Klitschkos, too, saying their contracts are incredibly one-sided, and it's not exactly hard to believe that's true. The Klitschkos and their team are very shrewd, very smart guys, and are looking to make as much money as possible, like anyone. Gentlemen or not, they're in the business like everybody is. They want what they believe is theirs, and given that they run the division, it's not surprising to think they'd want a huge slice of every pie.