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

Ruiz a very dangerous prospect for Joseph Parker - Promoter

Joseph Parker. Photo / photosport
Joseph Parker. Photo / photosport

The winner of the Joseph Parker v Andy Ruiz Jr heavyweight world title fight in Auckland next month will go on to be 'king of the division', according to promoter Bob Arum.

Arum, Ruiz Jr's handler, put aside what he called his "devastation" over last night's election of Donald Trump to the United States presidency by talking up his undefeated Mexican fighter, who he said has the fastest hands in the division.

And Arum, speaking from his Beverly Hills home this morning, was in no doubt as to the importance of the WBO title bout.

"I'm very excited about this fight," he said. "Parker is probably the hardest-punching heavyweight around and Andy without any question has the fastest hands in the division.

"Having fast hands in boxing is very special and makes Andy Ruiz very dangerous. Parker is a tremendous puncher so he will have to stand there and absorb the fast-hand punches on Ruiz and unload on Andy with his best punch.

"This is a true heavyweight championship fight between two young heavyweights and I think the winner will be the king of the division."

Arum, who has more than 30 fighters on his books, including six world champions, will turn 85 on December 8, two days before the fight at the Vector Arena.

He will have an early birthday party with family and friends - celebrities Judge Judy and Bette Midler commiserated with him over the election result last night - before having another in New Zealand. This will be the first time he has visited.

Asked if he was surprised about the rise of 24-year-old Parker given the relatively small population of the country, he said: "I'm not surprised at all. I follow sports and one of them is rugby. I see all of those big strong New Zealand players who have dominated the game for many years.

"Years ago I did a lot of boxing events in South Africa. That was a big rivalry, the Springboks v the All Blacks. I'm familiar with New Zealand sportsmen, and particularly the bigger guys. If I'm surprised about anything it's that you haven't had more top-notch heavyweights over the years."

Arum has been active on social media regarding his support of Hillary Clinton, and was happy to reveal the extent of his disappointment over the election of Trump.

"You cannot believe what a bummer I'm on today with the results of this election," he said. "I don't know, I'm looking at Canada, I'm looking at New Zealand, any place that doesn't have a wall.

"This is a man that's ill equipped to be president, but as an American I just have to hope we pull together and survive the next four years. To say that I'm despondent really only touches the surface. I'm devastated with the result of the election last night.

"We have to hope for the best. Our country has been through worse things. We went through a civil war and after losing a lot of lives we came out stronger. The US is very, very resilient, and hopefully will survive a Donald Trump presidency."

- NZ Herald

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