Amer Abdallah, the director of operations at Skills Challenge Promotions, has described as “speculation” reports that they have agreed to promotional terms with Deontay Wilder and hope to also do so with Devin Haney.
It was reported last week that the ambitious and mysterious outfit, which among others has already signed Oleksandr Usyk and Badou Jack, had seduced at least one further similarly significant fighter and could yet persuade Haney, the undisputed lightweight champion, to become the latest to join them.
Top Rank, who promoted Haney until the expiration of his agreement with them at the conclusion of last month’s victory over Vasyl Lomachenko, and Matchroom, who also promote Regis Prograis, are rivaling them in their pursuit of Haney, but even after Shelly Finkel, Wilder’s manager, refused to comment when asked about Wilder joining SCP, Abdallah somewhat cryptically said that the heavyweight had not.
“There has been so much speculation,” he told ProBox TV. “Shelly Finkel [Deontay Wilder's manager] and I talk almost every day. Devin [Haney], and I have a great personal relationship – I was just with him last weekend, we were in Detroit, hanging out.
“Unless you see a press release; a statement; a video of our press conferences coming out, stating that we have signed these guys, the answer is ‘Absolutely not’.
“There has not been any offer. There [have] not been any negotiations, about Deontay Wilder or Devin Haney for that matter fighting under Skills Challenge Promotions. That doesn't mean in the future, it can’t happen. I am saying at this stage, that is mere speculation.”
Wilder, the former WBC heavyweight champion, has not fought since his first-round knockout of Robert Helenius in October 2022. Haney is expected to fight next towards either the end of the summer or the start of the fall.
“I think the reason why they said [what they said] was they saw both of them as Prince Khaled's guests at the last fight,” Abdallah said. “They were probably going to put one and one together, two and two together, and thought, ‘I am sure that is what is going to happen’, but until you hear something from Skills Challenge, the answer is ‘No’.”