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Parker title fight scheduled for Auckland

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/11/2016
Joseph Parker © Twitter/Joseph Parker Joseph Parker

Kiwi boxer Joseph Parker's WBO heavyweight title bout next month will be fought in Auckland.

A press conference in Las Vegas this weekend is expected to announce that Parker's home town will host the title fight against Mexican Andy Ruiz on December 10.

ESPN boxing reporter Dan Rafael reported that promoter Bob Arum told him in Las Vegas that Parker and Ruiz will hold a joint press conference on Saturday to make the announcement.

The chances of the bout being held in New Zealand appeared to fade last Friday when Parker's promoters Duco Events withdrew their bid for the government to part-fund the fight.

Duco Events co-owner David Higgins said the application to the New Zealand Major Events fund had created public division.

"We're not prepared to become pariahs in our own country just for the sake of getting some government money," he said.

The chances of Parker's fight against Ruiz being held in Auckland had dipped, Higgins added.

Parker, 24, holds an enviable career record of 21-0 after crushing 201cm Ukrainian Alexander Dimitrenko with a third-round TKO in Manukau early last month.

Prime Minister John Key welcomed news that the bout would be staged here.

"I think it's great for New Zealand. The entire boxing world will be looking at this fight and all of New Zealand will be supporting Joseph Parker. "For boxing aficionados it might be one of the very few chances they get to along and see a world title fight."

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