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Parker to fight for WBO world heavyweight title

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 20/10/2016

Joseph Parker © Getty Images

Joseph Parker

New Zealand boxer Joseph Parker will fight Mexican Andy Ruiz for the WBO world heavyweight title in Auckland in December.

Ruiz has an unbeaten run over 21 fights, with 18 knockouts.

The WBO title was vacated by Briton Tyson Fury earlier this month after revelations he was suffering from depression and drug addiction.

WBO gave the order for Parker and Ruiz to fight during its convention in San Juan, in Puerto Rico.

The bout is likely to be on 10 December.

Ruiz's promoter Bob Arum told ESPN the he and Parker's promoter Dean Lonergan of Duco Events had agreed to a deal earlier.

"We have worked a deal out with Parker's people and Andy signed the contract earlier this week, but it was all subject to the sanction," Arum said.

"We got the sanction and it's a done deal."

Duco Events is still to comment on the development.

Parker will become the first New Zealander to fight for a world heavyweight title since David Tua's failed bid against Lennox Lewis 16 years ago.

The WBO has moved away from a reported plan to stage a four-man "box-off" to find its new champion.

Duco Events has said it wouldn't have agreed to such a method, with Parker having first rights to fight for the belt under the WBO's own rules.

Ruiz, 27, is unbeaten over 29 fights with 19 knockouts while Parker, 24, has an unbeaten run over 21 fights with 18 knockouts.

Parker is currently training in Las Vegas.

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