AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - New Zealand promotions company Duco Events is in a position today to confirm the historic WBO World Heavyweight Title bout between Kiwi boxing sensation Joseph Parker and Mexican/American Andy Ruiz jnr will take place at Vector Arena, in Auckland, on December 10.
New sponsorship agreements with Burger King, SKY, the TAB and the acquisition of new associate sponsor, in Hamilton-based global technology company Gallagher, have secured hometown advantage for Parker.
“This is a huge sporting event which I expect to unite the country, in a similar fashion to the 2011 Rugby World Cup and the 2015 Cricket World Cup,” said Duco Events Chief Executive Martin Snedden.
“We are only able to host the event in Auckland because of the tremendous support from our sponsors who grasp just how big an occasion this will be for all New Zealanders.”
Burger King Chief Executive John Hunter says his team is excited to boost its support for Parker.
“Burger King NZ is very proud to have made the decision to extend our partnership with Duco to ensure Joseph has the very best opportunity to win the WBO World Heavyweight title, in front of his New Zealand fans,” said Mr Hunter.
“Two years ago, Burger King launched ‘The Road to the Title’ and it would not have been right for Joseph to reach his first title shot without all New Zealand in his corner.”
New sponsor Gallagher is also enthusiastic after recognising the growing fan support and buzz across the country over the last two weeks.
“We have a long history of providing support to the community across sport, arts, health and education,” said Chairman and Chief Executive, Sir William Gallagher.
“Contributing to this event means as many kiwis as possible now have a fantastic opportunity to feel part of Joe’s quest for the World Title, and it’s happening right here in New Zealand!”
Sky Chief Executive John Fellet is equally buoyant.
“This is just fantastic news to have a fight of this magnitude right here in New Zealand. Parker is another home grown kiwi hero who will face an immense challenge in the ring against Andy Ruiz, a fighter who cannot be underestimated.
“The team at SKY are really looking forward to working with Duco to produce a world class event for those who can’t get along to Vector. I personally can’t wait for December 10.”
The TAB believe betting for this event will be the biggest since David Tua’s World Title fight against Lennox Lewis in 2000.
“Our customers love boxing, and there are some good odds already available for this bout,” said Chief Bookmaker, Mark Stafford.
The historic December 10 bout will screen into more than 100 countries with a worldwide television audience of more than 100 million people.
It is the first time the WBO World Heavyweight Championship has contested in New Zealand.
The title is currently vacant after British champion Tyson Fury relinquished it for personal reasons, last month.
It had been held previously for seven years by Ukrainian superstar Wladimir Klitschko, who defended it a record 15 times, including defences against former world champions Hasim Rahman, Ruslan Chagaev and David Haye.
The winner of next month’s bout between Parker and Ruiz will be required to defend the title almost immediately, against Haye early next year.
Corporate Tables for December 10 have gone on sale today while tickets will go on sale on Thursday at Ticketmaster with prices starting from $99.