An historic WBO heavyweight title fight on New Zealand soil is looking more and more unlikely as bosses at Duco Events admit to reconsidering their application for public funding.
Joseph Parker’s promoters had asked for up to seven figures from the New Zealand government in a bid to stage the undefeated fighter’s world title bout with Andy Ruiz on December 10 at home, although co-owner David Higgins is on the verge of admitting defeat.
“We have studied the reaction to our application for government funding and it’s clear it has become political dynamite, a real political football,” Higgins told varied press in the region.
“We rely on public goodwill and it’s a shame to see it has become so divisive because it’s such a great opportunity. We think if this event does happen in New Zealand, it should be inclusive and celebrating a landmark New Zealand sporting achievement and also New Zealand’s event capability.
“As soon as we went and charged for TV there’d be a large section of society who would have us for breakfast. We aren’t willing to be pariahs in our own country, it’s better to do it another way.”
Hinting they would try one more time to raise the necessary capital, Higgins knows he has the safety net of the fight being moved to the United States under Ruiz handlers at Top Rank.
“In the past we have rolled the dice on some risky things, we’re not immune to risky ventures,” he said. “Or do we take the safe bet and go to the United States?” Higgins questioned.
Higgins partner at Duco, Dean Lonergan is downbeat about their chances of giving Parker an early advantage in the fight and expects a decision to be made official in the new couple of days.
“We need to make some serious decisions over the weekend,” stated Lonergan.
“We will look at the financial model yet again and delve deeper into it. There’s a lot to consider. But we are also in the business of problem-solving and we need to try to solve t this as quickly as we possibly can.”