Bill Haney: “We’ve Never Paid Any Sanctioning Fees; The Networks Do!”

Bill Haney Says Fighters Paying Sanctioning Fees are a False Narrative!

Devin Haney sitting with Bill Haney
Devin Haney sitting with Bill Haney | Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom

Bill Haney Debunks Narrative of Sanctioning Fees Holding Fighters Back

There is no doubt that being a champion is a tremendous achievement in the sport of boxing. However, it is also a double-edged sword. This is due to the fighter having to pay substantial fees to the various sanctioning bodies for the green light to represent their organization. Bill Haney, father, manager and chief second to undisputed lightweight champion Devin “The Dream” Haney (28-0, 15 KO’s) says this is a fallacy that must be eradicated.

During a recent sit down interview on ThaBoxingVoice, this notion of burdensome fees came up. His son, the undisputed champion, is now being promoted by Top Rank. Bob Arum, founder of Top Rank, has on numerous occasions snubbed the idea of holding being undisputed in high esteem. His rationale being that it was foolish to pay all the money needed to satisfy the sanctioning fee.


Here, in this interview, Bill Haney directly refutes this claim.

“Now I hear this new narrative that you don’t have to be a champion, you don’t have to be a champion. That’s a falsehood! Somewhere everyone got to thinking that they have to pay for the sanctioning fees. That’s with the public right? If you take a look at the public and what everyone is saying, the fans are saying, ‘you shouldn’t have to pay for your sanctioning fee!’ Well we don’t pay the sanctioning fees!

It’s decided way, way, way before the fight even happens who’s going to pay the sanctioning fees. Well if 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.

Let me explain; if you have a network that is interested in having a 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. We don’t [pay] for any of the belts. We’ve never paid any sanctioning fees!”


One would have to wonder, if this is true, why do boxing insiders, managers and fighters still propagate this falsehood? For Bill Haney, it boils down to leveraging the general fans’ ignorance as a convenient excuse to avoid tough fights.

“I think that is a misinterpretation that the public needs to hear. And fighters and promoters and everyone else who is hiding behind that tab that goes with being a world champion, that’s passed on carefully, selectively and creatively to the networks that pay to make these big fights happen!”

This is very explosive news being delivered by Bill Haney! If true, it debunks a great deal about what the fans have come to believe are the unavoidable responsibilities of a champion. This is sure to be a powder keg statement. It will be interesting to see how various networks, promoters and even Bob Arum himself respond to this somewhat whistleblowing revelation.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

By: Bakari Simpson

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Bakari is a Senior Writer for Visit to view more of his literary work.