Duco defends pay-per-view cost for Joseph Parker's boxing bout

BEVAN READ/stuff

Joseph Parker trainer Kevin Barry revs up the media after claims from Razvan Cojanus' camp that he isn't being taken seriously.

Duco are defending the $50 pay-per-view cost of Joseph Parker's first WBO world heavyweight boxing title defence.

The build-up to what could be Parker's last fight in New Zealand for some time has been disastrous.

Hughie Fury's withdrawal two weeks out from the fight after claiming a dubious back injury left promoters Duco in the lurch, forcing them into immediate scramble mode.

It will cost $50 to watch Joseph Parker fight  Razvan Cojanu.
GETTY IMAGES

It will cost $50 to watch Joseph Parker fight Razvan Cojanu.

They quickly settled on Parker's sparring partner, Romanian challenger Razvan Cojanu who is ranked No 14 by the WBO, as the best option to replace Fury and save their May 6 event.

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Duco are defending the cost of Joseph Parker's WBO title fight against Romania's Razvan Cojanu.
Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.

Duco are defending the cost of Joseph Parker's WBO title fight against Romania's Razvan Cojanu.

While the venue was downgraded from the 12,000-seat Spark Arena to Manukau Events Centre, which will host a 3000-person sellout on Saturday, the pay-per-view has been set $10 less than Parker's win over Andy Ruiz Jnr last December; victory that saw him claim the WBO title.

It was understood that fight sold around 70,000 pay-per-views - generating about $4.2 million in revenue that was split between Sky and Duco. David Tua's knockout win over Shane Cameron in 2009 retains the New Zealand pay-per-view record, thought to be around 91,000.  

Anthony Joshua's stunning 11th round KO of Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley last Sunday - a fight for the WBA, IBF and IBO belts and the best heavyweight occasion in recent memory - cost $35 in New Zealand to view live. It is understood that fight was purchased around 11,000 times locally.

Punters are now being asked to stump up $49.95 for Parker-Cojanu.

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Duco boss David Higgins said the fee reflected the risks associated with allowing Parker to defend his title at home.

"It's not all going into the pockets of Dean Lonergan and I whatsoever," Higgins said.

"It's symptomatic of the costs of running a promotion at this level and pays for Joseph's journey to the world title and staying as holder.

"When you look around the world the home market is the major revenue source. Look at UFC costs in the United States, Pacquiao-Mayweather [$89 in the US] and what Horn-Pacquiao will cost in Australia. If you look at historical benchmarks, it's actually not that bad.

"Parker-Ruiz was $59.95 so we're $10 cheaper.

"I'm sorry that's the economic reality of this happening in New Zealand. The people who buy it can feel they've genuinely contributed to funding Joseph's journey.

"The reason it's $49.95 is that it costs a huge amount of money to stage a world title defence in New Zealand.

"Some will complain and whinge about it and others will understand the commercial realities. We don't get any government funding so we don't have a choice."

Higgins does not expect Parker-Cojanu to hit the 70,000 sold for the Kiwi's win over Ruiz Jnr.

"I think it will be fewer than the last fight but Joseph is the No 1 Googled New Zealander of 2016 so he's a huge star with a huge following. Joseph's fans will buy the fight so I'm expecting solid numbers but I won't put a number on it."

 - Stuff

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