Bob Jones scorns funding of fight

Bob Jones, a long time boxing fan and in the past a mentor of Joseph Parker, is scornful of attempts to secure Government funding for one planned bout.

Newshub: Backlash over Duco efforts to get Govt money for Parker clash

Duco wants funding from what’s called the “Major Events Fund”.

“Oh crap it ‘put us on the map’,” says Sir Bob. “Let me tell you, this year there’s been numerous world heavyweight title fights. Is Chechnya on the map because they conducted one?”

“The Government should have nothing to do with this whatsoever. It’s nonsense. It’s a fraud.”

In any case there may be no funds available, as the Major Events Fund is committed for the next two years.

And it’s highly questionable whether one boxing bout could be termed a major event.

If the Government manipulates funding to give Duco a handout it would be controversial, in part because Parker is related to Judith Collins.

Jones is not just scornful about this attempt to get a handout, a few months ago he heaped scorn on modern boxing.

NZ Herald: Bob Jones: Boxing world a disgraceful circus

The meaning of the word “champion” is hardly debatable, thus there can only be one. Yet at any given time today there’s as many as six supposed world champion claimants in each weight division. Here’s the background as to how this absurdity arose.

World championship boxing in the eight original weight divisions from flyweight to heavyweight, became firmly established in the early 1880s. Despite no world governing body, there was never any dispute as to who the champion was, he being the boxer who won the title by defeating the existing champion.In 1922, New York journalist and boxing historian Nat Fleischer launched Ringmagazine.

Fleischer invented ratings, a practice which extended first to other sports and subsequently spread to every conceivable activity. Ring magazine became boxing’s bible, its integrity and ratings unquestioned, and remained that way for a further decade after Fleischer’s death in 1972, despite the advent of numerous rival periodicals.

In the 1960s, it was accepted the eight weight divisions had too wide a range spanning lightweight, welterweight and middleweight and two new divisions, light-welterweight and light-middleweight were introduced.

Championship fights were always huge global events in each division and their title-holders were frequently household names. Compare that with today’s scene with nearly 100 boxers claiming to be the world champion in the now absurd 17, largely contrived, weight divisions.

This ludicrous situation arose through satellite television which turned boxing into an incredibly lucrative sport for boxers and television channels.

In response, in the 1980s opportunists formed purported world governing bodies, referred to cynically as the alphabet soup by aficionados.

The World Boxing Council (WBC), the World Boxing Association (WBA), the International Boxing Federation (IBF), the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) and many others sprouted up. By 1990 a dozen such organisations existed who claimed to be the world governing organisation for boxing.

Essentially, they were motivated by profit, charging promoters “sanctioning fees” to “recognise” their contests as either championship fights or, as with the Parker-Carlos Takam bout, mandatory challenge bouts. The financial benefits were further enhanced by insisting that their members be given judging and refereeing roles and their travel and hotel costs be met and they paid fees.

All of this was at the urging of television channels who wanted audience-pulling championship fights. To compound their earnings through more championship bouts they created an absurd seven further weight divisions, some with only a few pounds differential. Their greed did not stop there.

Next, they created dozens of different imaginary championships such as Pan Atlantic, Asian-Pacific and such-like nonsense. Thus once coveted world championship boxing events became meaningless with every contest, no matter how insignificant, being labelled as some sort of championship bout with a cheap ornate victor’s belt being brandished for the winner.

All of these outfits issued ratings for each division, often bearing little relationship to each other. It was no secret that one could buy oneself a ranking. How else do you think Joseph first cracked it?

After Lennox Lewis retired in 2003, Ukrainian, Vitali Klitschko was universally accepted as the heavyweight champion.

Over the subsequent decade he successfully defended the title against allcomers, retiring in 2012 to run for the Ukrainian presidency albeit, to avoid vote-splitting with the other major pro-West liberal candidate, eventually withdrawing and instead becoming mayor of Kiev.

Following his retirement his young brother, Wladimir (known as Dr Steelhammer – he has a PhD, as has his brother), was widely and rightly accepted as the world champion as he also had also beaten all major contenders.

Last year, Vladimir, now 40, lost the title in a shock upset to England’s unbeaten Tyson Fury.

Then on flimflam grounds the IBF declared the title vacant and nominated two relative novices to fight for the vacant championship. The winner, American Charles Martin (by an injured knee, which says it all) was then lured to Britain to defend his bogus championship against Anthony Joshua.

Joshua, the London Olympics gold medallist, is a much-loved British sporting figure who is undefeated, although like Joseph, mostly against poor opposition. But the fans happily bought into it and filled the 02 Arena to watch him easily dispose of the hapless Martin in just over a round. In doing so they deserted their own true world champion, Tyson Fury, never popular for being from the despised traveller group.

Joseph Parker is highly talented. I discerned that in his amateur days and put him on the payroll, thus enabling him to fight all over the world before eventually turning pro. But he and his team should be patient. He is not a huge puncher and constantly fails to use his best weapon, namely his jab. His No1 IBF ranking is farcical.

He would at best rate 15th in the world. At 24 he has time on his side and should be taking learning fights against better quality opponents and not the Solomon Haumonas of this world.

At the moment, he could not foot it with the real top level heavyweights and should steer clear of them for a couple of years, when he doubtless will be able to. Sadly, it appears this won’t happen.

I don’t follow boxing but one thing has seemed quite odd about the title conjecture surrounding Parker – there is usually an absence of American fighters mentioned. They used to dominate world boxing championships. Perhaps they still do – different ‘championships’ to those that Parker is being positioned for.

It seems farcical that the Cabinet would even consider a Parker fight as a ‘Major Event’.

Investment criteria

Event organisers seeking investment will be required to show evidence that the event will significantly and measurably impact on the following areas in the immediate and long-term:

  • Tourism revenue e.g. will attract international visitors and expenditure to New Zealand.
  • New Zealand brand promotion e.g. opportunity to showcase New Zealand through international media.
  • Business and trade opportunities e.g. investment and export opportunities created.
  • Increased participation in sports, arts or culture e.g. growth in participation and high achievement in event field.
  • Increased employment opportunities e.g. short and long-term employment created by the event.
  • National identity and pride e.g. opportunities to celebrate New Zealand culture and heritage and include local communities in event delivery.
  • Event sector capability e.g. building additional event governance, management and delivery skills.

An event is unlikely to receive support if it:

  • Requires an investment in offshore international rights fees, which is disproportionate to the economic returns to New Zealand from hosting the event;
  • Generates benefits primarily to the region in which it is hosted i.e. does not generate national benefits;
  • Does not allow for sufficient time (ideally two years from the application date) for the event to develop and deliver a significant leverage and legacy plan and/or enable the government to leverage the event for wider government objectives

Two months would appear to be far from insufficient time.

Beehive insiders are saying there are concerns about the perception of putting up taxpayer money for a fight Duco would make money off and Sky would charge for.

They should have concerns about more than that.

State shouldn’t fund boxing bout

Newshub reports: Revealed: Top-level Cabinet talks over funding Parker fightRevealed: Top-level Cabinet talks over funding Parker fight

The Government have held discussions at the top level about putting up taxpayer cash to keep Joseph Parker’s world heavyweight title fight in New Zealand, Newshub has learned.

A request from event promoters Duco for a cash subsidy was discussed by ministers at their weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce put it on the agenda, after talking through the application under the ‘Major Events Fund’ – with officials from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment in the morning.
Steven Joyce outlined one potential condition: that if Duco, a private company, makes a profit, it would have to pay the taxpayer back.
“It depends on the agreement that we sign,” he said.<
“That is something that we could consider in this instance – for example, in the Under-20 World Cup they made some money and some of it was returned to taxpayers [and] some of it was returned to promotion of the football code in New Zealand.
“We’re just literally not interested in funding somebody just because they turn up and ask for it – it’s got to be about something that otherwise wouldn’t happen. We’re not interested in just paying somebody for an event that they’re already going to run.”

I don’t think taxpayer money should go towards a fight like this, or towards any fight. A ‘sport’ based on trying to bash someone senseless and virtually guaranteed to inflict brain damage shouldn’t be encouraged, and certainly not with public money.

And boxing championships have become a confusing farce haven’t they? Who is the current world heavyweight champion? I have no idea and don’t care. It’s a mug’s game.

Parker seems a decent sort of guy, but taxpayers shouldn’t finance and attempt for him to make money out of bashing someone. His sport is well past it’s use-by date.


Slater’s new-found respect for boxing

Cameron Slater seems to have changed his view substantially on participating in and losing a boxing bout.

In January:


I still find it amusing that Jesse Ryder has never heard of me.

When I heard he said that, I thought great it seems I’m up against a deaf and blind guy…shouldn’t be too hard.

Training has commenced…I have some weight to shed, and aerobic fitness to improve, along with my punching power.

He has just written up My Boxing Journey: From Fat to Fit where he now states admiration for those who get in the ring.

How hard could it be I thought to myself.

Well it turns out that boxing is very hard. It is technically difficult, and requires a significant effort just to get to the ring.

I have learned a great deal from this experience, but mostly I have learned that fighters deserve an awful lot of respect.

No one should ever diss a fighter who has gone through those ropes and stood in the loneliest of places…a ring 20 feet x 20 feet with nowhere to hide.

Tiberius asks in comments:

Cam, having now been in a charity boxing event, do you have any more respect for Bill English?

This was alluded to by David Farrar when it was announced that Slater was going to try boxing in January:

Good to see Cameron following his political hero, Bill English, into the celebrity boxing arena!

Slater on English in January 2009:

All Bill English has managed to do with his life is father 6 children, lose a boxing match and get the lowest ever party vote for the National party ever.


And I tell you what…sitting in the dressing room at a tournament like the Super 8 and seeing the winners and the losers come back after their bouts is an incredible thing to witness. Those guys are tough,  win or lose they are tough.

I have learned a great deal from this experience, but mostly I have learned that fighters deserve an awful lot of respect. I feel privileged to have shared a changing room, the despair of losing and the ecstasy of winning with a bunch of guys who gave it their all.

Slater on English in October 2011:

Bill English’s shockingly bad campaign in 2002 included 72 policies on all sorts of stuff that no one cared about, no real leadership with anyone who wanted to releasing policy and Bill doing some stupid photo ops like getting the shit beaten out of him in a boxing ring.


And I tell you what…sitting in the dressing room at a tournament like the Super 8 and seeing the winners and the losers come back after their bouts is an incredible thing to witness. Those guys are tough,  win or lose they are tough.

I have learned a great deal from this experience, but mostly I have learned that fighters deserve an awful lot of respect. I feel privileged to have shared a changing room, the despair of losing and the ecstasy of winning with a bunch of guys who gave it their all.

Which includes “some stupid photo ops like getting the shit beaten out of him in a boxing ring”


Here’s English’s bout in 2002, perhaps Slater will now respect him for it:

English looked much fitter then than Slater was on Saturday and managed to last the distance (three rounds) but was also outclassed.

The New Zealand electorate didn’t respect English for it though, National led by him was thrashed in the general election that year.

A boxing disgrace

This is a boxing bout that should never have been allowed to happen, any responsible boxing promoter should never have considered it let alone allowed it.

Sometimes stupid people with oversized ambitions and egos need to be overridden by experts. The experts failed in their duty of care in this case.

Jessie Ryder versus Cameron Slater:

Slater should not have been allowed to be an out of shape punching bag.

All that happened was Slater was punched in the head until he fell down. The referee should have seen the mismatch and called it off. But it was allowed to continue.

Then Slater was punched repeatedly in the head some more until he was knocked unconscious. He likely suffered more damage when he hit the floor, hard.

It was promoted by Sky Arena – Super 8.


SUPER 8 is the world’s premier all-action fight night, it’s fast, furious and stacked with knock out action. 

Offering something for everyone, each epic event features an explosive eight man last man standing tournament, world-class championship boxing and enthralling celebrity clashes. 

When you watch a SUPER 8 event – look away at your peril because every fight matters.

This is a disgrace to boxing.

And that this was fundraising for Kidscan is another disgrace, it is a terrible example for kids.

Slater KO’d quickly by Ryder in mad mismatch

In a ridiculous and dangerous mismatch Cameron Slater was knocked down and then knocked out by Jessie Ryder in the first minute of a charity boxing match.

Jesse Ryder made light work of blogger Cameron Slater with a first-round knockout victory in their celebrity boxing bout at the Super 8 event in Christchurch tonight.

Slater, who shed 17kg in training for the bout, was never in the contest against a sharp-looking Ryder, who knocked him down within the first minute and finished the job shortly after.

Ryder, a former Black Cap, had experience in the ring having beat radio host Mark Watson via TKO in 2012, while Slater was fighting for the first time.

– NZ Herald Boxing: Ryder knocks out Slater

It was a senseless fight in a number of ways.

This was as decisive a beating as National got in Northland. Ironically Slater was in the red corner.

Whale Oil lived blogged the ‘fight’:

21:55 by Pete at Whaleoil
Cam is walking to the ring

21:56  Here we go! by Junior
Cam is in the red corner.

21:57 by Junior
Cam is looking pretty damn focused!

22:00 by Junior
Here we go. First round starting now!

22:01 by Junior
Cam is trying to get inside but has his head down. Cam is down

22:01 by Junior
8 count but up on his feet

Cameron is down hard

He’s back up but he was out, not quite cold but Ryder hit him hard behind the ear

The ref called it there bang on a minute. Not sure if he will get his money out of Soper and Williams.

One minute one second. Good on him for giving it a go, it was a tough ask.

Camerons interiew is up now.

22:05 by Pete at Whaleoil
I’m gutted.  I know how hard Cam’s worked for this.

22:07 by Junior
Cameron feels OK and got some big bangs but he did this for charity and still still put his body on the line. Cams gonna sit down and enjoy the title fight!

Cam is a braver man than 90% of the guys that ‘talk’ about getting into the round.

22:07 by Pete at Whaleoil
Ryder has youth, fitness, reach and height.  In spite of all that, I still felt Cam had a chance.   Proud of that man.  But then I always was.

Slater had less chance than Osborne ion Northland. Probably less chance than Prime in Northland.

I’m not a fan of boxing at the best of times but this mis-match was a disgraceful and dangerous farce.

And don’t expect that knocking Slater senseless will have knocked any sense into him.

His wife commented:

I am relieved that it is over. He is a very brave man. I hope the concussions do not damage that amazing brain of his.

Congratulations to Jesse and I hope that Kidscan have done well out of this.

I also hope that this will satisfy the blood lust of those who wanted to see Cam hurt and punished because they do not like his opinions. All I will say is that he has lost everything financially and got up again. He lost his ability to feel happy and he got it back again. His friends and professional contacts were attacked and he got back up again. Jesee knocked him down twice and he got back up again. That is why my man is a winner and always will be.

Being stupid isn’t being brave, and this was an extremely stupid fight to get into.

If Slater really wanted to be brave he should try a contest in his field of expertise, politics. It would have been far safer for him to have stood against Peters and Osborne in Northland.

Ego unchecked


I still find it amusing that Jesse Ryder has never heard of me.

When I heard he said that, I thought great it seems I’m up against a deaf and blind guy…shouldn’t be too hard.

Ego unchecked.

He sounds disappointed that he wasn’t given a political opponent.

He’s untested at boxing (Ryder won a fight three years ago) so is taking a big risk talking himself up so much.

I think he’s on a hiding to nothing. If he somehow knocks Ryder out then Ryder’s previous head injury is likely to be the big story. And of his own doing he has a lot of ego to lose.

Boxing big mouth Slater slapped down

Cameron Slater is going to fight Jessie Ryder in a Fight For Life.

Celebrity boxing pits Cameron ‘Whaleoil’ Slater against Jesse Ryder

Cameron Slater says he knows he sells newspapers, so now he’s ready to sell pay-per-view television – even if he knows the viewers might be switching on to watch him get knocked out.

The controversial Whale Oil blogger and the subject of the Dirty Politics scandal will make his ring debut in Christchurch on March 28, against former New Zealand test cricketer Jesse Ryder.

Slater might be at a disadvantage – having to fight clean. Staged boxing is different to mud wrestling with pigs.

And if the fight goes well, Slater has a list of opponents he would like to meet next – headed by Dirty Politics author Nicky Hager, television host John Campbell and New Zealand Herald journalists David Fisher and Matt Nippert.

“I would even lose 40kg to get into the ring with Nicky Hager,” said Slater, who plans to drop a more modest 11kg down to 100kg to meet Ryder. “Any of those four, I will lose weight and match their weight to get into the ring with them, but I suspect they lack the stones to do it.

His blogging has become largely impotent but this seems a bit pathetic attention seeking.

Slater admitted he would be the underdog against Ryder, who knocked out radio presenter Mark Watson three years ago in his only bout.

He said many might tune in to see Ryder knock him down: “Yes, but none of them are brave enough to get into the ring to do it themselves. None of the cowards on Twitter are prepared to get into the ring with me.”

Big talk.

The ultimate slapdown:

Ryder admitted he had no idea who Slater was…