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Saturday night saw the much anticipated bout between the Joseph “wears a suit to Burger King” Parker, and Carlos “I’ve never been to a pre-fight conference at Burger King, until now” Takam. The fight took place at the Vodafone Events Centre in South Auckland, surrounded by what the New Zealand Herald labelled “an odour of Hype and Heineken.” Burger King, Heineken, and Vodafone; three of many companies gaining financially from the broadcast and promotion of the fight.
Joseph Parker won the fight by unanimous decision after “going the distance” with Takam to the 12th round. An entirely pleasing result, no doubt, to the promoters and sponsors alike. A marketing major might later tell me the term “maximum brand exposure,” or something like it.
On top of the $50 pay-per-view sky charged, all’s well so far in the professional sports industry of late capitalism.
The fight was promoted by DUCO events, headed by two ex-Warriors front rowers (think a successful Stepbrothers’ Prestige Worldwide). Less pleasing to the fights promoters, the event was streamed on Facebook and viewed freely by over 100,000 people. One Porirua man who streamed the fight is (self-proclaimedly) “a modern day robin hood” (via his personal Facebook page, “A Day in the Life of #BeastMoze”).
One of DUCO’s founders, Sean Lonergan, is claimed to be filing legal action against those who uploaded the fight as copyright infringement. Lonergan has stated, while standing in front of TAB and KFC advertising hoarding: “the person they are ultimately stealing from is Joseph Parker, a guy who is literally sweating blood?”
Lonergan is of course forgetting most of those people who streamed the fight would not have paid the expensive pay-per-view either way. This is the crucial point the courts will have to consider in any copyright case surrounding the fight, which Lonergan seems hell bent on pressing.
For good measure, Lonergan also called those who uploaded and streamed the fight “complete lowlife shitheads.”
It seems Lonegan is less concerned about those stealing from Parker, than those “stealing”—not a term legally applied to copyright infringement—from his own pay-packet.
Glad to note the corporations still win in advertising, so at least there is that.