The unlikeliness of a world heavyweight title fight receiving taxpayer funding in New Zealand means Joseph Parker v Andy Ruiz Jr. is heading Stateside.
An application for a seven-figure cheque from the Government via the people of New Zealand is set to be turned down handing promotional rights for the event to Top Rank chief Bob Arum.
Labour’s sports Trevor Mallard said this about the request process: “There may be something in the application, which I haven’t seen, that means that it is worthwhile and would make a big difference for New Zealand, but I can’t think of what it might be,” according to msn.com.
Parker’s promoter Dean Lonergan has now all but given up on staging the vacant WBO title clash on home soil.
“We’re under huge time pressure because the fight’s down for December 10 and that’s very close,” he said. It was looking likely the fight would be held in the United States instead.
“I’m not confident that we’re going to have the fight here in New Zealand and I think there’s an 80 percent chance it’s going to America because of the sheer size of the finances required.
“We have to do something that’s never been done before and that’s getting seven figures in sponsorship,” Lonergan added.
Ruiz being of Mexican decent, the fight could now head to Texas where a large following may see Arum sound out stadiums in and around the State for the agreed December 10 match-up.