Plans to have Joseph Parker's historic heavyweight title fight in New Zealand are under threat with the reality of organising an event of this magnitude in such a short space of time already proving difficult.

A backup scheme to switch the event to the United States is already underway.

Parker's opponent Andy Ruiz, and promoter Top Rank, have agreed with Duco Events that Auckland is the preferred venue for December 10. However, the Kiwis may be forced to hand over the hosting rights to Top Rank boss Bob Arum, who raised the prospect of a fight at the Dallas Cowboys home in Texas.

Arum believes Ruiz' Mexican heritage and Hispanic popularity could draw a crowd of up to 80,000.


"I made a deal with Duco that they have first option to do the fight in New Zealand and I stand by that," Arum told Fairfax Media from Las Vegas.

"But if Dean Lonergan tells me for any reason he is unable or doesn't want to do the fight in New Zealand, we are ready to do the fight in the United States without any question.

"We are ready, willing and able ... it would be a blessing to have the fight held in the United States. I know it will generate huge interest here."

Arum said from a business perspective, it made sense to cash in on the Hispanic markets in Las Vegas, California, or Texas and highlighted his strong friendship with Dallas Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones.

"That would be a tremendous place for a fight," Arum said.

"The ball is in Dean's court, he has the first option to do the fight. But I'm ready if he can't."

Lonergan too is being careful not to make a rash decision.

While he doesn't want to give up the hosting rights that easy, especially with home advantage proving huge for Parker, he also wants to make a sensible business decision.

"The time frame is the issue," he told Fairfax as he returned to New Zealand after getting the fight to be sanctioned at the WBO annual conference in Puerto Rico.

"We are in discussions with a huge array of people. But they all have to come together in a very tight space of time.

"Obviously it's a massive event, it's a historical event for New Zealand and it's something that David Higgins and myself are incredibly keen to make happen.

"But we are first and foremost a business and it has to be commercially viable. We have to raise seven figures to make this thing work and that's never been done on a boxing match here before.

"We might break it down and say, if it makes a loss, it makes a loss and we have to suck it up.

"We would much prefer to have the fight here and in the long term interests of Joseph Parker we want to give him any advantage we can to win this fight. But at the end of the day we have fiscal responsibilities to worry about.

"If we can't make it happen here and Bob wants to take the commercial risk, well, so be it ... we'll shrug our shoulders and move on.

"For Bob it's just another world title fight, He's probably done hundreds of them. But for us, it's a big deal."

Lonergan also touched on the political circus around taxpayer funding for the fight to go ahead in New Zealand.

Labour's sports spokesman Trevor Mallard questioned whether or not New Zealand would really benefit off having an event like Parker's heavyweight title challenge.

However, Lonergan described Mallard's comments as "irresponsible."

"If Mallard bothered to do any homework, he would realise that Duco controls the TV content and the distribution rights to more than 500m households in around 100 countries. We could put up to 15 to 20 minutes of New Zealand tourism messages into the broadcast content."