24 Oct 2016

Parker's fight '80 percent' likely to go to US - promoter

12:05 pm on 24 October 2016

The promoter of Joseph Parker's bid for the world boxing title to be held in Auckland in December is not confident he'll be able to organise sponsorship in time.

Joseph Parker and French Cameroon boxer Carlos Takam in Auckland, May 2016.

Joseph Parker in a bout against French Cameroon boxer Carlos Takam in Auckland, in May. Photo: Photosport

Promoter Dean Lonergan has asked the government to help foot some of the bill for the WBO title bout against Mexican Andy Ruiz.

But he said millions of dollars in sponsorship still needed to be raised in the next week if the fight was to go ahead in Auckland.

"We're under huge time pressure because the fight's down for December 10 and that's very close," he said.

Boxing promoter Dean Lonergan pictured on 2013.

Dean Lonergan Photo: Photosport

It was looking likely the fight would be held in the United States instead, he said.

"I'm not confident that we're going to have the fight here in New Zealand and I think there's an 80 percent chance it's going to America because of the sheer size of the finances required.

"We have to do something that's never been done before and that's get seven figures in sponsorship," Mr Lonergan said.

The government said the application for funding was being assessed and it didn't yet have a view on it.

But Labour's sports spokesperson, Trevor Mallard, said he couldn't see any reason for approving it.

"There may be something in the application, which I haven't seen, that means that it is worthwhile and would make a big difference for New Zealand, but I can't think of what it might be."

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