Patrick McKendry is a rugby writer for the Herald.

Boxing: Date an issue for Joseph Parker v Andy Ruiz Jr fight

Joseph Parker. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/
Joseph Parker. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/

The date of Joseph Parker's proposed fight against Andy Ruiz Junior in Auckland will come up for discussion tomorrow when the two heavyweights' promoters talk again about the potential world title bout.

Top Rank's Bob Arum has said the fight will take place, and that he would be doing all he can to urge the WBO to put Tyson Fury's title up for grabs.

Arum has said that Ruiz Jr is happy to fight in New Zealand, and that although the money was short of what he would like, he was certain compromises could be made.

However, the December 10 date preferred by Parker's handlers Duco Events could be problematic. Arum said Ruiz Jr would prefer the fight be held in January, but that won't work for Duco.

"January is an issue," Duco's Dean Lonergan said. "And the reason is simple - New Zealand goes on holiday, particularly New Zealand corporates who make up a solid section of our revenue. These are all issues that have to be addressed."

The fight will easily be the biggest held in New Zealand and will require Duco to raise sponsorship.

"It's something that needs to be discussed, and it will be discussed - I will talk to him tomorrow," Lonergan said of his next scheduled conversation with Arum, who is based in Las Vegas. "I think everything else will be easy to put to bed, and now it's a case of settling on a date that works for him and works for us. Deals are always made of compromises.

"February is an issue for us at Duco because we've got the [league] Nines and a week later we've got the [rugby] Global 10s, so it's a big month. And then you start to get into March, well there is an opportunity also to fight the winner of [Anthony] Joshua versus [Wladimir] Klitschko because they're forced to fight us. There are a lot of things to think about and discuss."

Parker is the mandatory challenger to Joshua's IBF title, and the Englishman is likely to have his fight with Klitschko confirmed over the next few days.

Fury appears certain to be stripped of his WBO and WBA belts due to his inactivity following his victory over Klitschko 11 months ago, plus his positive drugs test for cocaine. One solution offered by his uncle and trainer Peter recently was to make him a "champion in recess", able to challenge for his former belts if or when he was able to.

Peter Fury told the BBC: "We're boxing people and we want to see fights and world champions. We're happy for the belts to be free, providing they can put him in champion in recess.

"As soon as Tyson is ready and able he can step back into it and fight whoever has got the belts and reclaim his title back.

"I think he will be back. I see him back in the gym March, April and I think he'll resume his career."

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