PERTH, Australia — Organizers of the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn bout on July 2 are preparing for the possibility of having not only the biggest crowd ever for a fight in Australia but the biggest crowd for any sporting event in Queensland.
Promoters of the fight at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium are contemplating adding extra seating to supplement the expected full house of 55,000.
The current record stands at 58,912 at the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre in Nathan for the 1997 rugby Super League grand final where the Broncos ran over the Sharks.
The Suncorp Stadium could seat 52,000 people. The Courier Mail earlier reported that the Horn-Pacquiao fight is likely to draw the world’s biggest fight crowd for the rest of 2017.
On current ticket sales, Horn vs Pacquiao is tipped to top the Australian record crowd in boxing of 38,000 who saw Azumah Nelson beat Jeff Fenech at Melbourne’s Princes Park in 1992.
Pacquiao’s American promotor Bob Arum earlier said beat Pacquiao's biggest live crowd was 50,994 at Cowboys Stadium in Texas, against Ghana’s Joshua Clottey.
Filipino sports fans here have started booking seats since the ticket windows opened. A general admission ticket could fetch from A$64 (around P2,432) to A$278 (Php10,564). As of Monday, the Boxes and the Suites tickets are already sold out.
Arum said the Anthony Joshua-Vladimir Klitschko fight on Sunday at Wembley Stadium could have helped boost the battle at Suncorp.
“Joshua-Klitschko was a tremendous advertisement for the big fight in Brisbane. It was one of the best heavyweight fights I’ve seen for years and showed everything that’s good about boxing, with two highly conditioned athletes giving their all just as Pacquiao and Horn will do on July 2,” The Mail quoted Arum as saying.
James Brayshow, Craig Hutchison, Sam Newman, and Rebecca Maddern ‘grilled’ the eight-division world champion and even got him to hit the punching bag in an impromptu clinic with Hutchison.
A handful of Filipinos were also in the gallery to cheer Pacquiao.
"He's amazing, downright honest and humble despite his stature," said one Filipina nurse who works in Fremantle in West Australia.