Joseph Parker has admitted he is taking a "considerable" pay-cut to defend his World Boxing Organisation heavyweight belt in Auckland following the withdrawal of Hughie Fury.

Parker was scheduled to receive an estimated $2.4 million compared to Fury's $1.7 million from promoters Duco Events, but the Brit pulled out with a lower back injury on Sunday.

The New Zealander will now meet huge Romanian Razvan Cojanu, nicknamed "Bigfoot", on May 6.

The fight has been shifted from the 12,000-capacity Spark Arena in downtown Auckland, to the 3000-capacity Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau where Parker has fought four times as a professional.


Parker told the Herald the money he was in line to earn for the Fury fight was well down on what had been reported, but admitted the late change in opponent has hit him in the pocket.

"[The purse has dropped] considerably - this is the sport we're in and you just have to adapt and accept that," he said.

The likely decrease in British broadcasting rights revenue for the main event meant costs had to be reduced. The scale of the production was downsized as a result.

The pay-per-view cost will be $49.95 for New Zealand viewers.

"Previously we were subject to certain purse rules [for the Parker-Fury fight]," Duco Events director David Higgins said. "We've since negotiated with Joseph Parker and Razvan Cojanu and they've agreed to a deal.

"It could be the last time Joseph Parker fights in New Zealand. We haven't had an avalanche of refunds because they [the patrons] are Joseph Parker fans. We're grateful to them for bearing with us.

"My goal is for it to be economically viable and break even. This will still be distributed globally as a heavyweight title fight."

The Herald understands Cojanu would get less than a seven-figure sum.

"Often there's heaps of haggling and arguing over deals," Higgins said. "But this guy [Cojanu] wants his world title shot and was in like a rat up a drain pipe. I want to thank their team for working so quickly."

Higgins confirmed payments would not vary for boxers on the undercard.

A sense of familiarity should still pervade when Parker defends his title. The pair are past sparring partners.

The 2.02m Cojanu meets the WBO criteria of being in their top 15 list as the mandatory challenger, ranked at 14. The 30-year-old has a 16-win, two-loss record.

"I'd like to thank Hughie Fury for pulling out," he said. "I'm not taking the fight for the money. I always said if I got a title shot [anywhere] I'd say 'yes'.

"I've come to prove I can knock Joseph Parker out. Their team is one of the most professional I have met, but I know him and his strategies from our training camps where I've only ever gone at 50, 60 or 70 per cent."

"Because we've sparred together, he's more dangerous than Fury in some ways," Parker responded. "I'm starting to wonder what he really fights like."

Parker's trainer Kevin Barry confirmed the pair had gone 44 rounds in their last camp.

"He was one of our least preferred options because he'd been in two camps over the last four years.

"We run an open programme, so when fighters are not sparring they tend to be in the gym with us. Razvan knows more about Joe than most other fighters."

Cojanu also sparred with Alex Leapai before his April 2014 title defeat to Wladimir Klitschko.

"Apparently he struggled to lay a glove on him [Cojanu] in training," Barry said.

Parker has spent 12 weeks preparing and told Barry he "needed" to fight after last entering the ring in December. Barry said he was prepared to take the risk on the back of that urgency.

Americans Dominic Breazeale and Deontay Wilder also wanted to fight Parker, although Breazealle did not want to do so on the specified date.

Wilder told Radio Sport that boxing needed to unify the heavyweight division instead of fighters being positioned for pay days.