By: Sean Crose
They said it was past it’s sell-by date…then tickets sold out in minutes.
It looks like the February 19th battle between longtime rivals Kell Brook and Amir Khan is going to be a huge hit, at least as far as the live gate is concerned. Tickets went on sale at Manchester Arena, only to sell out in minutes. There’s certainly a lot of love for boxing in Great Britain but even by English standards, this was something of a shock. Many might have agreed the fight would eventually sell out, but few would probably have argued that it would sell out in well under fifteen minutes.
Per Sky Sports: “We knew we could sell the arena out a few times over but the demand for tickets has been mind-blowing. The arena told us this event is ‘bigger than Bieber’,” said Ben Shalom of BOXXER, which is promoting the bout. “The level of national interest in this fight is just off the scale – it’s the biggest British battle in decades. We’re looking forward to an electric night on February 19 for what will be an iconic and legacy-defining fight in front of a sold-out arena and televised live and exclusively on Sky Sports Box Office.”
Sky Sports also claims that the Khan-Book fight is now “one of the fastest-selling events not only in British boxing history but in British sporting history as a whole.” Once the bout between the two Brits was officially announced, there was a sense online that the event was too little-too late, a match more in the mold of Mayweather-Pcaquiao than Fury-Wilder. Yet if ticket sales are any indication, the fight is far more anticipated than was first thought. The explanation may rest in the fact that, although each man is past his prime, both fighters remain well known.
Khan and Brook were two of the biggest names at welterweight during the Mayweather-Pacquiao era, which lets the world know just how good they truly were. Brook won his IBF welterweight title off of Shawn Porter and far too few people remember the fact that Mayweather himself seemed to want nothing to do with the lightning fast Khan. Both men have lost several big fights, but they have dared to be great, which is worthy of praise in and of itself, especially in today’s sometimes low ambition era of the sport. A meeting between the two men has been bandied about for years. And now a significant amount of people are clearly just happy to get a chance to see it.
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