The venue for Joseph Parker's world heavyweight title fight against Andy Ruiz Jr remains dependent on funding, with the Kiwi's promoters hoping the New Zealand Government follows the lead of their South Australia counterparts, who have bid millions to take the upcoming Anthony Mundine v Danny Green re-match to Adelaide.
The Mundine v Green fight, announced yesterday, has caught the imagination of South Australia's Sports Minister Leon Bignell, who said the February 3 clash would boost the economy of the state while highlighting its potential as a tourism venue.
Neither boxer has links to South Australia, nor has even fought there before. Mundine, 41, was brought up in Sydney, while Green, 43, has links to Sydney and Perth. The catchweight fight, a re-match of their clash 10 years ago won on points by former NRL player Mundine, will likely be their last as professionals.
Bignell told 5AA Radio his government had tabled a lucrative bid but expected a strong return, with Duco Events' David Higgins saying a Parker fight would reap similar returns.
"To get that event, you have to have at least a 35-to-1 return on investment," Bignell said.
"We were up against Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth. You've got to go in there not just saying you're the best city and the best state in Australia, you've got to bring some coin to the table. That's how the modern world works.
"We're talking about $4.5 million into the economy through the fight, we're talking about a massive national and international TV audience for one of the great fights between two of the best fighters of our generation."
Parker's promoters need to raise a seven-figure sum to hold the December 10 fight in Auckland - with Eden Park, Mt Smart Stadium and Vector Arena options - rather than accede to Ruiz Jr's promoter Bob Arum's offer to hold the WBO title bout in Texas.
Arum, one of the most experienced promoters in the fight game, has strong ties with the owner of the Dallas Cowboys and reckons he can put on a huge event at the 80,000-seater AT & T Stadium.
The timing of the announcement of the Mundine v Green re-match, dubbed Man v Machine because of their nicknames, is fortuitous, for it shows the investment elected officials are prepared to make.
In an interview with the Herald, Duco Events' Higgins said the all-Aussie fight was nowhere as significant as Parker v Ruiz Jr.
"It's the equivalent of Tua v Cameron, a big domestic fight but one which won't resonate around the world," Higgins said.
"We've been criticised in the past for not putting on tough fights for Joseph.
"Well, this is a difficult one and it's for the heavyweight championship of the world, what Sports Illustrated magazine called the greatest prize in sport.
"This opportunity for Joseph didn't fall out of the sky. It's the result of heavy investment, risking several million dollars over many years. It's the same as a manufacturing company investing in research and development."
Duco hold the television rights to Parker's fight, which will be shown to millions of people in 100 countries, an audience they say could easily be shown footage of what New Zealand has to offer.
For Bignell, the attraction is obvious.
"We're going to have the biggest fight in Australia's history - 37,000 people at the Adelaide Oval on a balmy summer night. It will be a terrific spectacle that will be televised around the world and attract about 10,000 fans in to Adelaide."