David Higgins, Promoter of Tua-Cameron, Talks

Interview by Eugene Carnachan - David Higgins the promoter of the Tua V Cameron block buster in Hamilton New Zealand was nice enough to take time out of his busy schedule to chat with me. David’s company, Duco Events, that he owns with John McRae were the force behind bringing together a boxing event of the likes New Zealand has never seen.

This was Duco’s first foray into boxing events however they have brought to New Zealand the likes of Bob Geldof, Prince Andrew and also helped facilitate a speaking engagement that former president Bill Clinton spoke at..

Eight thousand fans packed out Mystery Creek Event Center in Hamilton. Big Screens were placed above the main ring and it was a literal whose who of the New Zealand corporate sector and social scene.

The affable Colonel Bob Sheridan strolled casually about signing autographs and Hall of famer Jeff Fenech was at ringside calling the fight.

New Zealand fight fans were literally in the presence of living legends.

Because of the main event been a fight between New Zealand heavyweight Shane Cameron who at the time of the fight was ranked by both the WBO and IBF and come backing world title challenger David Tua there was an air of excitement about a fight that pitched the old bull against the up and comer.

Everyone in New Zealand had an opinion as to who would win and we now know who did.

However over and above the result was the event and it indeed was an event. This article isn’t about the fight proper but a chat with one of the primary players who brought this fight together.

Q – How old are you David.

A – I am 29 years of age.

Q – Very young for a man bringing together such a big event.

A – I put myself in this position by having a go. I completed a business degree and started working for a company. I was given a job of organizing a business event and it made a bit of money and from there it evolved. That job was the initial starting point and gave me an insight into how to plan and bring events to fruition.

Q – How did the Tua V Cameron fight come about?

A – I was working on Thrive Wellington (New Zealand’s capital) and we brought David in as a speaker on a panel. I got talking with David and the fight was born. David involved Cedric Kushner. David agreed because there was a middle-man (Duco) to negotiate the fight so we went ahead about pulling it all together.

Q – Shane Cameron was easy to bring on board?

A – It took a few months to get Shane to come on board. There were things to work through. When he did sign the contract there was a clause that he could take a tune up fight and he was unfortunately injured in that fight.

Q – What were your thoughts when this injury occurred?

A – It was simply a matter of keeping focused. One can only control what they can. There are things that happen in planning events that are beyond ones control but you simply have to keep your mind on the job and bigger picture…which of course was making the fight happen.

Q – Did you have reservations in the build up to the fight?

A – There were times when I thought the fight wasn’t going to happen. There were injuries, highs and lows but we just had to stay focused and stay the course. We worked very hard on the things we could and at the end of the day you have to if you want to deliver the best product you can. Between John and I we have done 200 events so we have experience and that’s a great thing to call on in any given situation.

Q – And you needed to call on that experience?

A – Most definitely.

Q – Did you feel pressure given the public expectation?

A – At one point I thought the fight wasn’t going to happen and I was going to lose a lot of money. But you can’t stay up vomiting all night. You simply have to refocus and get stay the course. It’s about your emotional identity and how one reacts in a given situation. One has to be philosophical about things.

Q – What’s the key to organizing such events”

A – Keep more money coming in then going out.

Q – Did you learn much in pulling this event together?

A – I spent a lot of time talking to Cedric Kushner and Cedric is very experienced in the matters of fight promotions. One thing I worked out is that if something (boxing event) happens in America that doesn’t necessarily make it a success. An event can be big in the hometown heroes backyards simply because the have a fan base. When you get two fighters with a fan base you really have something to work with at a domestic level. So organizing fights isn’t always all about America which in contrary to what the public thinks.

Q – This being your first boxing event what are your thoughts about the sport?

A – Boxings an interesting business. If there is another opportunity in boxing we will pursue it.

Q – Your thoughts on the fight?

A – I think David looked like a Mike Tyson of 1988. He was in superb shape, hungry and focused.

Q – The outcome of the fight for you personally?

A – An absolutely fantastic event and we think we managed to make David Tua a global boxing currency again.

Q – Any plans to move into the Australian boxing scene or perhaps the American scene.

A – Not in the immediate tense but you can never rule these things out.

Q – Plans for the future?

A – We think David Tua will become a world champion. It is quite obvious New Zealand suits David. Why? It was evident in the build up. He was surrounded by a great team, familiarity, his family and look how he came in and performed in the fight. We would love to continue our association with Cedric and David and help David realize his potential by winning a world championship.

Q – Tua V Rahman happening this year?

A – Not looking likely. There are broadcast issues to work through making the unlikely to happen.

Q – Thank you very much for your time David and wish your best for your future endeavors. Duco really have done an amazing job of getting David back in the minds of fans and boxing commentators the world over.

A – That’s great to hear. Thank you and it’s being my pleasure working with David.

Article posted on 14.10.2009

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