Parker fight likely to be in Auckland - boxing commentator Lightning Mike Angove
After weeks of speculation, an announcement will be made later this morning on the location of Joseph Parker's world heavyweight title fight.
All signs are pointing to a fight on our shores on December 10 - which isn't a long time for boxing promoters Duco Events to pull together such a prized event, especially when it's facing funding difficulties.
Boxing commentator Mike Angove said he expects the announcement to reveal it will be held at Auckland's 12,000-seater stadium Vector Arena.
"The indicators are that it's going to be in New Zealand, certainly … you've got [boxing matchmaker] Stuart Duncan confirming Australian fighter Jeff Horn for a bout on December 10, and there's no way that event won't be on a Duco card," he told Paul Henry on Tuesday morning.
However Mr Angove said it wasn't necessarily a clear-cut decision to hold the bout in Auckland.
"It wouldn't surprise me if, particularly after the ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) fiasco, if Hamilton put a pitch up and we went down to Claudelands Arena again."
He says the ATEED incident last week was "disappointing" - but thinks it may have something to do with the fact that the council didn't want to endorse the fight due to the violent nature of boxing.
"I've worked in sponsorship for major sports events and the main thing is people don't want to associate their brand with a 'brutal sport'," Mr Angove said.
"The irony is that they'll all turn up for the booze up with all their corporate clients - but that's difficult, making that brand alignment happen."
But despite the difficulties in hosting the bout in Auckland, he maintains that Vector Arena is the most likely destination for the fight.
"You've got a capacity of 11,000 to 12,000 there, you've got a significantly larger walk-up crowd, and they'll want to cater to the corporates as well, who haven't put their hands in their pockets in terms of sponsorship, but no doubt they'll be there for the party," Mr Angove said.
He estimates that each boxer will take home $1 million from the fight.