Patrick McKendry

Patrick McKendry is a rugby writer for the Herald.

Boxing: Duco team take costs on the chin

Alexander Ustinov's camp will temporarily head back to Russia because of David Tua's calf injury, but fight promoters are confident the delay won't cost them too much.

Duco Events' David Higgins said the delay would cost the company in the "early 10s of thousands" because of the suppliers' charges and other expenses for the fight which was originally scheduled for Hamilton's Claudelands Arena on August 31. Because of a clash of bookings and other high-profile sporting events, the fight has had to be delayed until November 16.

"Alexander and his trainer committed to this new date almost immediately and without any complaints," Higgins said. "They have decided that it's best to go back to Russia where they have their own gyms and sparring partners and everything is a lot easier."

Ustinov and his team were due to leave Auckland last night and will return about 10 days before the fight.

"The postponement will cost us a bit of money but you have to be a realist, in boxing this happens from time to time," Higgins said.

He added the demand for tickets - the 5000 capacity venue had almost sold out - and recent feedback suggested most people wouldn't ask for refunds.

"A spinoff of this, and it certainly wasn't a conspiracy or planned because all of the medical evidence is in place, is that David will end up in better shape for the fight," Higgins added.

Tua said he was unfazed by the delay, which has echoes of the postponement of the Shane Cameron fight in 2009, an extension he used to get into career-best shape for a stunning knockout. "The delay gives me even more time to get into peak condition and it also allows me to leave no stone unturned when it comes to the strategy of the fight," said Tua.

Ustinov said: "These things happen in boxing. I'm just looking forward to the fight and taking on the world famous David Tua."

- APNZ

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