Parker vs Joshua fight promoters say Easter trading laws dealing knockout blow to Kiwis looking to enjoy the bout

As heavyweight boxing champion Joseph Parker counts down to his Easter Sunday unification bout with British superstar Anthony Joshua, his promoters say antiquated Easter trading laws are dealing knockout blows to Kiwis looking to enjoy the fight.

The fight is on at 11am New Zealand time on Easter Sunday meaning pubs and clubs will have to apply for a special licence to put on an event if they want to show it.

This means a venue wanting to show the fight would need to apply for a licence for a fundraising, quiz or event hosting a speaker to be granted dispensation.

"At the end of the day the average Joe Blogs wants to come in, have a pizza, have a beer and watch the Joseph Parker fight.

"That's the event as far as they're concerned, building something around it is just crazy," Russell Gray Auckland Branch President of Hospitality NZ says.

Joseph Parker's promoter agrees the trading laws will hurt ordinary Kiwis who want to enjoy the big sporting moment.

"It's silly that New Zealanders would have to jump through hoops to watch Joseph Parker potentially make history," David Higgins of Duco Events told 1 NEWS.

Officials say they're reluctant to bend the rules on special licences, meaning the bars look to be losing this fight.

The UK fight involving Kiwi Joseph Parker is scheduled for April 1. Source: 1 NEWS

Watch: MLB batter mortified after bat slips out of hands, flies into crowd and hits fan

MLB slugger Devon Travis was left visibly shaken in his game yesterday after an at-bat went horribly wrong and his bat hit a fan in the forehead.

Travis was batting in the eighth innings for the Blue Jays in their contest against the Red Sox when his bat slipped out of his hands on a big swing.

The bat managed to clear the netting which stretches down the baseline at Fenway Park in Boston, soaring nearly 15 rows into the crowd before it hit a fan.

Security rushed to the injured fan's aid with towels and a stretcher while also taking the bat away.

The injured supporter managed to stand on his own though, pumping his left fist to thank the crowd as he received a huge cheer.

Travis' night got worse with the Blue Jays going down to the Red Sox 1-0, giving the Boston franchise their 100th win of the season.



All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams confirms return to boxing ring in December

All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams has confirmed he will step back into the boxing ring at the end of the year.

Williams, 33, is set to fight in Sydney on December 1 on a charity event named "Banger in the Hanger".

"I'm looking forward to getting back in the ring again. I know this will be a hard fight for me after being out of the ring for three years," he said.

"Some people will say I'll be rusty. But I can't wait! I know I'll put on a good show and the cause is a great one. It feels good to be giving something back."

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has supported the cross-code star's ambition to return to the ring. 

"Look, from my understanding I think it's a very, very low-key fight and it's about raising money for the homeless in Sydney and for the Auckland City Mission," said Hansen.

"He is pretty confident, I've spoken to Khoder (Nasser, Williams' agent) and Khoder's confident that what's going to take place won't be of hindrance to him, so you've got to back their judgement and from what I understand it shouldn't be too much of a task."

All proceeds from the fight will be split between Auckland City Mission and Australian charities the Exodus Foundation and the Bill Crews Charitable Trust.

The All Blacks star will return to the ring later this year. Source: 1 NEWS

"The winner of the fight will be known as the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE HOMELESS & NEEDY as proceeds of the night will go to helping the homeless in Australia and New Zealand," a press release stated today.

Sonny Bill Williams against Chauncy Welliver in Sydney Source: Photosport



'He's a little dog' - Kiwi UFC fighter Mark Hunt unloads verbal tirade on 'weak minded' drug cheat Fabricio Werdrum

New Zealand mixed martial arts veteran Mark Hunt has unleashed a tirade of verbal assaults at former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum ahead of his bout at UFC Fight Night in Russia.

Hunt is headlining the UFC event at Moscow's Olympic Stadium, set to fight Alexei Oleinik on Sunday (NZ time).

He told media he was excited to fight in Russia and was extra pleased to fight someone close to his age.

"He's a clean fighter, so it's great,” said Hunt.

The 44-year-old has had a long battle against performance enhancing drugs after facing a rivals who had failed tests, namely former champion Brock Lesnar.

Hunt unloaded a war of words on Werdum after he was handed a two-year suspension by the US Anti-Doping Agency.

"I'm glad that Fabricio Werdum got caught, that little b****," said Hunt.

"Go back to the favelas. F*** you, you little c***. Good job. He was supposed to be here, but that's what you get for being weak. That's what you get, Fabricio, for being a weak-minded person. See you later."

Mark Hunt v Fabricio Werdum Source: Associated Press

Werdum was meant to face Oleinik in Russia but was withdrawn after an out-of-competition test conducted in April showed the steroid trenbolone and metabolite epitrenbolone in his sample.

Hunt has fought several fighters who have failed drug tests - Lesnar, Frank Mir and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.

His UFC 180 fight with Werdum is topical, with the Brazilian fighter going on to win the UFC's interim heavyweight belt and then going on to beat Cain Velasquez for the undisputed heavyweight title.

"I had to lose 21 kilograms in three and a half weeks to make that a title fight," Hunt said.

"I got kneed in the head by that little cheater. Then he beats Cain in Mexico. That really upsets me about that guy.

"Then he wouldn't fight me – he's just a cheating little b***, man. He's a little dog, that guy. See you later, Fabricio. Enjoy, mother f*****.”

Hunt has a MMA record of 13 wins 12 losses and 1 draw with eight wins in the UFC, six losses and one no contest bout.



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