MANILA, Philippines – Expect a record crowd to fill up the Cowboys Stadium in Texas when the junior middleweight title clash between Filipino champion Manny Pacquiao and Mexican toughie Antonio Margarito takes place on November 13.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said he is anticipating a record attendance for the Pacquiao-Margarito fight, much bigger than the one recorded during the Filipino champ’s welterweight title defense against Ghana’s Joshua Clottey.
“We have a lot of stuff that we didn't have for the Clottey fight. With Margarito being Hispanic, and this is North Texas, which has a huge Hispanic population, that will make this even bigger," Arum said in a report posted on ESPN.com.
Pacquiao's World Boxing Organization (WBO) Welterweight title defense against Clottey drew 50,994 spectators, one of the largest in US history.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones agreed with Arum’s prediction.
"This is a good one because we know Margarito -- with our fan base, in our area -- if we do the fight, then it'll be a big draw," he said.
Aside from the Filipino champ’s popularity and the expected numbers from Margarito’s supporters, Arum said the ongoing season of the National Football League (NFL) will also play a big part in the fight’s commercial successes.
"The last fight was not during football season. This one is, and we have all the Dallas Cowboys assets they use during the season to help this time,” said the veteran boxing promoter.
Aside from gate receipt earnings from the 50,994 spectators, the Pacquiao-Clottey fight generated 700,000 HBO pay-per-view buys and $35.3 million in US domestic television revenue.
Margarito has secured a boxing license in Texas on Friday, paving the way for the World Boxing Council (WBC) junior middleweight fight with Pacquiao.
He hasn't fought in the US since January 2009, when a plaster-like substance was found in his hand wrapping prior to a fight against Shane Mosley in Los Angeles.
Arum said he expects Margarito to sign the contract over the weekend. Pacquiao will seal the deal when he arrives in the US on Monday to sign his part of the contract. – With a report from Agence France-Presse