The nation of Samoa has delivered a knock-out deal, stepping in at the eleventh hour to fund Joseph Parker’s heavyweight WBO title fight against Mexican Andy Ruiz Jr in Auckland.
In a sponsorship deal reported to cost USD$100K, the islands of Samoa will be featured to a worldwide audience, showing off its unique tourism offering as well as provide a taste of what’s offer for international investors.
Samoa’s majestic land and seascapes, white sand beaches, lush forests and rich culture will be showcased during the fight, with a special role for the Prime Minister, The Hon Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi who will be present to introduce the main event.
There will also be a ceremonial introduction prior to the national anthems being performed.
The support from Samoa was crucial to the fight being held in Auckland, where Parker was born, rather than the USA.
Joseph Parker was born in New Zealand but is of Samoan heritage. He follows the footsteps of another Polynesian great, David Tua, who also went for the title against the great Lennox Lewis sixteen years ago in Las Vegas. With his stature and rigorous training regime, pundits believe the odds are in Parker’s favour.
Sonja Hunter, CEO of Samoa Tourism Authority, said that there was no hesitation when the opportunity was presented. “Yes, there is a fantastic return on investment for the destination, reaching a global audience which allows us to promote Samoa not just as a fabulous emerging destination to new European and American markets, but also to whet the appetites of international investors looking for new markets to tap in to.”
The fight will take place at Vector Arena, starting at 7:30pm (NZ time) on Saturday December 10th.
Photo credit - Joseph Parker Facebook page