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Patrick McKendry is a rugby and boxing writer for the Herald.

Boxing: Joseph Parker title fight city confirmed — it's Auckland

After days of speculation, the venue for the Joseph Parker v Andy Ruiz Jr heavyweight title fight has been confirmed - and it's going to be held in Parker's home town of Auckland.

His promoters have been keen to keep their plans under wraps, but Ruiz's promoter Bob Arum let it slip in Las Vegas this morning when he told the media that a press conference in the city on Saturday featuring the two fighters will confirm Auckland as the venue.

ESPN boxing writer Dan Rafael tweeted the news this morning. Many of the world's boxing media are in Las Vegas covering the Manny Pacquiao v Jesse Vargas title fight, ensuring that Parker will get plenty of coverage this weekend, Arum, Pacquiao's promoter, told the media in a press conference this morning.

Bob Arum told Newshub this morning: "They've kept assuring me that they would somehow raise the money [to do the fight] through sponsorship or whatever.

"They informed me this morning that that had been done so we're going to announce on Saturday in the US that the fight will be held in Auckland, New Zealand, on December 10.

"I know Joe Parker is a dedicated athlete and he's training here in Las Vegas. I talked to Kevin Barry this morning and he thinks Parker will be at his best, so it should be a great fight."

Duco's Dean Lonergan said this morning: "We neither confirm nor deny. It's a work in progress."


Patrick McKendry: Duco scraps to keep Joseph Parker v Andy Ruiz Jr fight in Auckland

Vector Arena is firming as the favourite for the December 10 fight for the WBO title. Eden Park's management were keen to hold it, but the limited build-up time left them apprehensive about selling the more than 50,000 tickets. Mt Smart Stadium is also in the mix. The fight will attract a worldwide audience of millions.

On Friday, Parker's promoters Duco pulled their bid for Government funding for the fight. They will instead rely on sponsors and corporates, and appear willing to make slight loss on the fight in order to give 24-year-old Parker his best shot at the title.

Act leader David Seymour said the Government had "narrowly escaped getting sucker-punched by Duco Events", and should scrap the Major Events Fund altogether.

"The Government never ruled out giving gravy to Duco - it was actually Duco who ran away from the idea when they realised it was getting political.

"Whether it's horse shows, golf opens, yacht races, or stand-up paddleboarding, Governments of all stripes fall into the trap of granting fat cheques to organisations that are perfectly capable of raising a profit without help."

- NZ Herald

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