City eyed for big-time bout

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:00 19/09/2012

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Promoter David Higgins says Invercargill is still very much on the radar to host a big-time boxing event next year despite delays in the building of Stadium Southland.

Higgins' Duco Events company was understood to have been looking at bringing a David Tua bout to Invercargill in March that would have been one of the first big events in the new indoor stadium.

However, last week Stadium Southland officials revealed the stadium construction had been delayed and a more realistic opening date would be July.

Higgins told The Southland Times yesterday that he still viewed Invercargill as a prospect to host a big-time boxing event next year, which could see either Tua or Shane Cameron fight in the city.

"I can confirm it's still on our agenda to hold a fight down there," he said.

"It's a matter of dove-tailing a household Kiwi fighter against, ideally, a world top-10 opponent to make it a very compelling matchup and then locating it down there, which in principle is very doable. It's just a matter of connecting the dots.

"So, in our point of view, looking at July versus March is a positive. In this game the more time you have the bigger and better job you can do."

The events organiser is well known for putting up $1 million to get Cameron and Tua into the ring together in 2009 and says on going delays when organising that fight worked in their favour.

"I recall promoting the Tua-Cameron fight which was originally scheduled for March and then June and ended up in October. And, if I look back in hindsight, it was the best thing that happened, more time to put sponsors in place, more time to build interest in the media, more time to engineer a quality undercard, more time to sell corporate hospitality."

Both Tua and Cameron are likely to fight before July next year and just how they fear in those bouts may determine their next step and whether Invercargill could still be an option.

An announcement on who Cameron is to fight next and where and when is expected to be made tomorrow.

Tua retired after his loss to American Monte Barrett in March but has since announced he wants another go in the ring.

Cameron's career had stalled somewhat until an impressive overhand right punch knocked out Barrett in the fourth round of a bout in Auckland in July.

The win breathed life back into Cameron's career and now has him eyeing a possible shot and a top-ranked boxer in the world heavyweight division.

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- Southland

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