The Herald reports:
Joseph Parker’s promoters are asking for taxpayers’ money to ensure the New Zealand heavyweight boxer gets a world title fight in Auckland in December.
Promoter Dean Lonergan told the Herald last week that Duco Events will require sponsorship and funding to the tune of seven figures for the December 10 fight between Parker and Andy Ruiz Jr for the WBO world title.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce confirmed yesterday that an application for Government funding had been received for the bout.
“That will go through the process and be treated like any other application,” he said.
Joyce said it would have to meet a range of criteria to quality for a contribution from the Major Events Development Fund. In particular, the organisers would have to show that it could not go ahead without Government money.
“The whole idea of the fund is to develop new major events,” Joyce said.
“It’s about providing money to support something that would otherwise not happen.
“For example, and this is an extreme example, a rugby test is already happening and if it came to the major events fund then we’d say ‘it’s going to happen anyway’.”
The fund had previously been used to help bring the Under-20 Football World Cup and the Rugby League World Cup to New Zealand.
I can see the case for events like those named above – true world cups.
But boxing is a corrupt fragmented sport with hundreds of so called world titles being fought over. I don’t see any case for taxpayers subsidising a fight.