A good month to go, but the world welterweight title bout between champion Manny Pacquiao and challenger Jeff Horn has unofficially become the biggest boxing match in Australian history.
The July 2 match for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) 147-lbs title belt has already sold a total of 40,000 ticket sales as of Thursday.
The figures were confirmed by Brisbane Minister for Tourism and Major Events Kate Jones in an e-mail sent to media outlets, including SPIN.ph.
“We knew this fight would pack a punch for Brisbane,” said Jones of the July 2 fight at the Suncorp Stadium.
“With 40,000 tickets already sold, it will be the biggest boxing crowd ever seen in Australia.”
The biggest crowd ever to watch a fight in Australian boxing history stood at 38,000 when Azumah Nelson scored an eighth-round TKO win over hometown bet Jeff Fenech to retain the World Boxing Council (WBC) super-featherweight title in 1992. Held at Princess Park football ground in Melbourne, the fight was among the year’s biggest upsets.
The way tickets have been selling, Jones believes it is on track to reach a capacity crowd at the venue on fight night.
“This fight has the potential to host a record Suncorp Stadium crowd of 55,000 fans with a month to go,” said Jones.
Trainer Freddie Roach is aware the Horn camp will definitely try to bank on the support of the huge partisan crowd to invigorate the unbeaten challenger.
But he doesn’t see any problem with that.
“I don’t think that would have any bad effect on us. We’ve always been travelers,” said the 57-year-old Roach.
Besides, he said there are also many Filipinos now based in Australia as well as solid boxing fans who would love to see Pacquiao fight.
“Australia is looking forward to seeing Manny. Even though there are lots of Filipinos there, yes, but there’s a lot of boxing fans who love to see Manny Pacquiao live,” added the five-time Trainer of the Year.