40,000 tickets already sold for Pacquiao-Horn fight
MANILA – Manny Pacquiao is moving his training camp to General Santos City, where he will begin the second phase of his preparations for his welterweight title bout against Jeff Horn.
His co-trainer and best friend Buboy Fernandez said the team, including Freddie Roach, is scheduled to fly to Pacquiao’s hometown early Sunday morning.
“(Aalis kami) Bukas ng umaga, 5:30 a.m,” he said in a text message to ABS-CBN News.
Pacquiao wants to be close to his family in GenSan, hence the move.
The Filipino boxing star has already spent four weeks of his camp at Elorde Boxing Gym in Pasay City, where fans watched him train. But his coaching staff wants him to train under more private conditions to control the crowd.
Fernandez also said that Pacquiao is not worried about training in Mindanao despite martial law being enforced in the region, following the Maute group’s siege of Marawi City.
“Hindi ka dapat matakot sa sarili mong bayan,” was his response when asked about Pacquiao’s safety.
Pacquiao is expected to fly to Brisbane, Australia a week before his July 2 fight date with Horn.
The bout will take place at the 55,000-seater Suncorp Stadium. Some 40,000 tickets have already been sold, according to a USA Today report.
“We always knew this fight would pack a punch for Brisbane,” said Kate Jones, Queensland's minister for tourism and major events. “With 40,000 tickets already sold, it will be the biggest boxing crowd ever seen in Australia."
Jones said Australians are excited to see a local boxer go up against a fighter of Pacquiao's caliber.
“The chance to see our local hero take on one of the greatest boxers of all time is an opportunity too good to miss," she said. “The event will pump more than $23 million into local business and show off the best of Queensland to a massive global audience, with spectators from 150 countries expected to tune in."
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)