Twenty thousand dollar ringside tables sell out for Parker-Ruiz fight

By Simon Plumb

Joseph Parker's promoters Duco Events are touting huge sales ahead of next month's heavyweight world title fight against Andy Ruiz Jr - saying ringside tables costing as much as $20,000 have sold out.

Duco chief executive Martin Snedden says sales have been "going gangbusters" and the organisation is heading towards breaking even quicker than expected, with costs already at $4.2m.

Snedden says he has had to convince Vector Arena bosses to re-jig the floor plan for the December 10 fight, so that more tables could be added to meet a larger-than-expected demand.

"It's been a good couple of days with ticket sales, we're getting towards parity quicker than anticipated," Snedden told Newstalk ZB's Tony Veitch.

"Every single ringside table was part of sponsorship deals or WBO (World Boxing Organisation), row two was $20,000, to row six or seven at $8000-$10,000.

"People didn't resist that.

"On Monday, there'll be some [more] there, but they won't last beyond lunch time."

General admission tickets for Parker's fight have also been selling fast. After going on sale midday Thursday, the three cheapest categories for the fight have all sold out, with tickets valued at $99, $149, and $199 all now unavailable.

The most expensive general admission tickets on offer for the first world title bout to take place in New Zealand are currently selling for $799.

Snedden still won't say how much fans will have to stump up to watch the fight on pay-per-view TV. The Herald understands from a well-placed source that the price could be set between $70 and $100.

While Snedden suggested a three-figure sum would likely cause public kickback toward Duco, he also alluded to the price being set above previous benchmarks. Fans were charged $49.95 to watch Parker face Carlos Takam in May.

The price, he said, would be announced "a couple of weeks" before the fight.

Last week council's events arm, Ateed, announced it would not be investing public money in supporting the fight, just two weeks after chief executive Brett O'Riley predicted "hundreds of thousands" would be pumped in.

Today Snedden said Duco's relationship with Ateed remains positive after the funding U-turn was made by new mayor of Auckland Phil Goff.

"I have sympathy for Ateed, they got tangled up in something bigger than them," Snedden said.

"The new mayor looked at it and said in his view it's not a good spend.

"We should all be honest about that."

Goff revealed his role in scuppering ratepayer funding for the fight on Thursday, telling media he let the council's events arm Ateed know that unless there was a business case justifying an investment by the ratepayer "then it ought not to happen".

"In the end there wasn't such a business case that would justify the expenditure of ratepayer money," said Goff, who met with Ateed on two occasions before it made the decision to withdrew support for the fight.

"I carried out my responsibility as the elected representative of the people of Auckland to ensure their ratepayer money is spent properly," said Goff, a boxing fan who attended the last two Parker fights.

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