Bill Haney thinks the boxing public needs to be educated on the topic of sanctioning body fees and the value of championship titles.
The father and trainer of undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney, Bill Haney is understandably sensitive to the widespread perception that fighters, especially those such as his son who have unified a division, are put in an onerous position where they have to part with a significant amount of their purse in the form of fees paid to the sanctioning bodies.
In a recent interview, Bill Haney suggested that sanctioning fees are not as predatory as the public understand them to be. He also took issue with recent comments made by non-titlists, such as Ryan Garcia, about not needing belts.
“Now I hear this new narrative that you don’t have to be a champion,” Haney said on Tha Boxing Voice. “That’s a falsehood. Somewhere everyone started thinking that they have to pay for the sanctioning fees. That’s what the public [thinks], if you take a look at the public, right, and what everyone is saying … [fighters] shouldn’t have to pay [sanctioning fees]—well, we don’t. We don’t pay the sanctioning fees.”
“I think that’s a misinterpretation that the public needs to hear,” he later added.
Bill Haney suggested that sanctioning fees are essentially paid by the network, because the network puts “enough in the budget.” Sanctioning fees, it should be noted, are generally not collected as flat fees but as percentages of a fighter’s purse. The WBO collects two percent, while the IBF, WBA and WBC collect three percent each.
Speaking of his own situation, Bill Haney seemed to suggest that ESPN, the network which showcased Devin Haney’s win over George Kambosos in June to become the undisputed lightweight champion, took care of the sanctioning fees by ensuring that Haney’s purse was high enough to offset the fees. The younger Haney is set to face Kambosos in a rematch on Oct. 16 at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia, that will air on ESPN.
“It’s decided way, way before the fight even happens who is going to pay the sanctioning fees,” the elder Haney said. “When you deliver a world title fight to a network, the network is going to pick up the sanctioning fees. Yeah, the network is going to put enough in the budget.
“When you have a relationship with a network and when you have an interesting world championship fight, especially a fight such as undisputed, the money is in there for the sanctioning fees. We don’t pay the sanctioning fees—for any of the belts.
“We don’t negotiate that we’re going to provide our talent on a network, on a platform, with partners, and then we pick up the sanctioning fees.”
Mauricio Sulaiman, the head of the WBC, was recently asked about Bill Haney’s comments about how the network picks up the tab for sanctioning fees, but Sulaiman responded by saying he is not privy to those matters.
Bill Haney said he believes that other top belt holders are being taken care of in the same manner as his son when it comes to sanctioning fees.
“A [Gervonta] ‘Tank’ Davis—what are you worried about one belt,” Bill Haney said. “You think [promoter Floyd] Mayweather, $18 million watch, a private jet. You think that your guy, your promoter, is not going to pick up the fee, for the sanctioning fee, for your legacy? Or should?
“Instead we say these things like we don’t need them (the titles).”