Few would argue that the world heavyweight boxing fight isn't a significant event and few would argue that 24 year old Joseph Parker would put this country right into the centre of the international boxing ring if he gets a crack at it in his home town.

The WBO fight against Mexican American Any Ruiz on December the 10th came about because the title was relinquished by Tyson Fury who was battling cocaine and alcohol problems in addition to mental health issues.

The title's vacant and Auckland's been named as the host city and that's where the argument starts.

Duco Events, which promotes Parker, is looking for money to stage the fight and it's applied to the taxpayer backed Major Events Development Fund. It's certainly a major event, they'd get no argument there.


A common argument doing the traps is that successive governments were happy enough to put their hands into our pockets for the super rich man's America's Cup regattas, on several occasions, and a smaller amount for the last Rugby World Cup held in this country, so why not a boxing match featuring a Kiwi born Samoan?

The arguments in the past to get money out of the fund is that an event is usually held over a period of time, attracting a lot of people to this country. So the economic impact on New Zealand is a major determining factor and so too is our ability to showcase the country.

For every dollar spent on the Americas Cup, two dollars was invested here, up to $74 million, and the spin off for our boat building, sailing and design industries was significant. On those counts it's difficult to see the boxing match, even though it's historic for New Zealand, fills that criteria.

The fund was never meant to supply sponsorship for one off events and Duco is tugging at the heartstrings by saying they've got a fortnight to come up with the dosh, how much is anybody's guess, otherwise they say it'll be held in Texas.

Of course we'd love the fight to be staged here and we're proud of Parker getting a crack at it, even though his original manager Bob Jones reckons he's not ready. In Bob's book a boxer doesn't peak until they're in their mid 30s, so Parker has plenty of time to develop.

And if Duco expects taxpayer involvement, it could start by allowing us all to see the fight on free to air television!