Parker-Ruiz Jr. May Now Be Held in U.S.
The bout between Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz Jr. for the vacant WBO heavyweight title has lost its top sponsor in New Zealand, according to Parker’s promoter, Dean Lonergan of Duco Events.
Lonergran says he is doing everything possible to keep the bout in New Zealand.
"Up till 5pm Thursday this fight was 100 per cent guaranteed coming to Auckland due to the fact we had a number of sponsors come on board with one of the major ones being Ateed," Lonergran said. "We’ve been talking with them for a number of weeks putting together a package that to them made sense, based around visitation, tourism messages and feelgood factors of having the fight in Auckland. Unfortunately at 5pm on Thursday, Ateed rang us to say that they were no longer going to participate. So we are back to where we were about a week ago."
Promoter Bob Arum could possibly now promote the bout in the States, but he says he’s not making anything official as of yet. Arum said he is going to go back to the drawing board and see if he can do anything to keep the bout in New Zealand first.
"The reason why we don’t come out and confirm these things when other people have jumped the gun is because nothing is a done deal until all the paperwork is signed, regardless of all the good intent in the world," he said. "We will now go back to the drawing board and try and find ways to make it happen. Sometimes the political and media environment doesn’t make it easy. We have only 36 days to go, so the clock is ticking.
"The easiest option of all is to take it offshore and put it back here through pay-per-view with zero risk. But we want Joseph fighting here if we can make that happen."