Bigger crowd just the ticket for Jeff Horn
JEFF Horn will become a millionaire by fighting Manny Pacquiao on Sunday, with his promoter revealing he would receive a huge pay bonus because of the massive surge in ticket sales.
Other Aussie boxing stars are set to follow Horn's golden path as his promoters look to use the Suncorp superfight to help boxing regain its status as one of Australia's most popular sports.
While the unbeaten Horn was guaranteed $500,000 for challenging Pacquiao for the Filipino's World Boxing Organization welterweight title, promoter Dean Lonergan said an incentive deal would now push Horn's purse above seven figures.
"We've now sold 45,000 tickets and are on track to top 50,000," Lonergan said. "The response to the fight has been sensational and Jeff Horn is being rewarded for that.
"In the last few months he has gone from being virtually anonymous apart from a few boxing experts to being at the centre of one of Australia's most remarkable sporting events.
"We have already sold more than double the tickets for the Wallabies' Test against Italy in Brisbane and we're close to the crowd for this year's State of Origin I at Suncorp.
"Our revenues are also way, way in excess of the Auckland Nines rugby league competition we promote."
Lonergan said if Horn managed an astonishing upset over the heavy favourite on Sunday the humble schoolteacher from Acacia Ridge would make close to $2 million for a rematch with Pacquiao in November.
"Prior to this fight, the biggest crowd Jeff had drawn in Brisbane was about 1500 at Chandler," Lonergan said.
"Now he's fighting before 50,000 people and a global TV audience in the hundreds of millions. That just shows you that Aussie fans will support big-time boxing if there are great match-ups."
Lonergan said he was hoping to use the success of the Horn-Pacquiao promotion to help other Australian stars reach their potential in world title bouts.
"With the right promotion and with the best training camps in America for our boxers, we could have several world champions all at the same time," he said, "and boxing could again be one of the top three or four sports in Australia."
One of the hot prospects Lonergan has earmarked as a future world champ, Canberra super-middleweight David Toussaint, will fight American Shane Mosley Jr on Sunday's undercard.
Mosley's father lost to Pacquiao in 2011.