David Higgins: How to make a World Heavyweight title fight

David Higgins: How to make a World Heavyweight title fight

We are getting ready to rumble.

Anthony Joshua is fighting Joseph Parker at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff on March 31 with three of the four heavyweight title belts on the line.

David Higgins, left, with Joseph Parker

David Higgins, left, with Joseph Parker

On this edition of Sport: Digital and Social, I speak to Parker’s promoter David Higgins about how he managed to engineer a lucrative unification bout for his fighter when the chances seemed remote. Also how technology helped and hindered in that process, the counterintuitive nature of boxing PR, how and when the ‘trainwreck’ a press conference, his plans to unnerve Joshua, how the fight will secure Parker’s future and how David Higgins got into the boxing business.



1.35 David Higgins introduces himself

2.00 Parker’s background and the “dream on a whiteboard”

2.55 Why TeamParker have not “won the Lotto”

3.11 The timeline for Parker in the next few weeks

3.30 The unusual move of having a press conference calling for a fight

5.01 Fact-based v Trash talk in boxing PR

5.44 The "who’s dropped Joshua?" quiz

7.24 The three specific aims of the press conference

8.18 The perception problems from a poor Facebook presentation

Eddie Hearn's reaction

The Sun's coverage

11.02 The problems of putting a bounty for footage of anyone knocking down Parker

12.55 Deliberately “trainwrecking” a press conference to build a fight and make a contract stick

Video of David Higgins trainwrecking the press conference

16.15 The differing reactions from the English and the New Zealand media in relation to the tactic

17.26 The YouTube channels covering boxing who are scooping old-style new outlets and making a business

19.35 Predicting the rise of “renegade, guerrilla” outlets

20.56 Why boxing PR is counterintuitive - “you are belligerent, when they apologise”

21.00 The only boxer who verbally attacked Anthony Joshua at a pre-fight press conference

23.56 Crossing the line between stunts and publicity

27.04 Being criticised for tactics that have proved successful

27.34 How he got into boxing promoting. How he nearly went bankrupt once or twice. The “When We Were Kings” moment

31.14 How he set up New Zealand’s biggest pay-per-view event

32.34 Having only two fighters – both world champions – in their stable

35.13 Why they thought they had lost $1m and gone bankrupt until just before the event a record-breaking pay per view

35.52 Why boxing makes pay-per-view work and football cannot

39.21 The social good of boxing

41.12 Looking after Joseph Parker following his career.  The patronising question of a boxer's future

43.35 Hughie Fury v Parker – the story of the first world heavyweight title fight to be streamed live on YouTube

45.30 Managing Joseph Parker’s social media channels

46.10 The future for Parker if he beats Joshua

Other links

Duco Events

Joseph Parker

David Higgins

David Higgins interview on Behind the Gloves 


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