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

New Kiwi baseball team attempting to lure young Black Sox softball star

The manager of New Zealand's first professional baseball team is trying to lure one of the country's best softball players back to the other side.

Steve Mintz is in the country ahead of trials for the Auckland Tuatara in three main centres this weekend and says they want Pita Rona there.

“I reached out to him and he showed some interest,” Mintz told 1 NEWS.

“We’re hoping he comes out and we’ll see what he’s got.”

Rona was tipped for big things in baseball after signing a contract with the Baltimore Orioles but he was released after two years in 2014.

The 24-year-old recently arrived back in New Zealand after touring Europe with the World Champion Black Sox where he helped the side win the Intercontinental Cup in Prague.

The Auckland Tuatara have invited Pita Rona to trials this weekend. Source: 1 NEWS



Olympic legend Usain Bolt goes airborne as he runs in zero gravity

Was it a bird? A plane?

No, Usain Bolt's latest publicity stunt.

The eight-time Olympic gold medalist took a zero-gravity flight over France today, courtesy of a champagne producer.

Taking a break from his efforts to become a professional football player, Bolt said he felt like a "kid in a candy store" after spending about four minutes floating and joking around in near-weightless conditions.

Aboard the Airbus A310 plane, the 32-year-old Jamaican caught a free-floating globule of champagne in his mouth and ran in low-gravity conditions.

The eight-time Olympic gold medallist took a zero-gravity flight in France, promoting a champagne brand. Source: Reuters


Kiwi UFC veteran Mark Hunt to battle fellow over-40 star in Moscow

UFC veteran Mark Hunt and his Russian opponent will strike plenty of blows for the over 40s in mixed martial arts, when they headline a historic card in Moscow on the weekend.

Sydneysider Hunt, who's fight catalogue bulges with bouts against other leading heavyweights, faces another world ranked adversary in Alexey Oleynik, in the first UFC promotion in Russia.

NZ-born Hunt, who is 44, is ranked eighth, three places above 41-year-old Oleynik.

The Russian, who is nicknamed "The Boa Constrictor," is a submission specialist renowned for his ground game, while Hunt remains one of the most feared stand-up fighters in the organisation.

"I think it's a classic striker versus grappler," said Hunt, whose bout will take place early Sunday (AEST).

It's the second last bout on Hunt's existing UFC contract.

While not looking past Oleynik, Hunt is eyeing a spot in Australia's next UFC show on December 2 in Adelaide.

"If I'm not injured (on the weekend) i'm going to to try and get on the (Adelaide) card," Hunt said.

The show in South Australia will be headlined by rising Australian heavyweight Tai Tuivasa, who regards Hunt as his mentor.

Kiwi-born heavyweight blows up after UFC reveals Lesnar tested positive for a banned substance immediately after beating Mark Hunt.
Source: 1 NEWS