SECURITY for this Saturday’s (November 28) blockbuster world heavyweight title clash between Ukraine’s champion Wladimir Klitschko and British challenger Tyson Fury will be bolstered in light of the Paris terror attacks of two weeks ago. With 42,000 tickets already sold for the clash at the ESPRIT arena in Düsseldorf, the Klitschko team are taking no chances with people’s safety after 131 people were tragically killed by Islamic State terrorists in the French capital.
“Absolutely,” Bernd Boente, head of Klitschko Management Group who will stage the event, confirmed to Boxing News. “We had, just last week, a huge security meeting for Wladimir Klitschko v Tyson Fury, and all the security will be upgraded. We are talking to the arena security, the police, our own security and it will be extremely upgraded. Please tell every fan and every journalist that we will do everything in our own hands to make this a safe event.”
Tickets initially went like wildfire but the horrific incidents in Paris has understandably made people cautious of attending well-populated areas. Boente is relieved that more recent evidence of sports matches passing safely has encouraged a renewal of interest in the big fight.
“The level of interest is increasing, especially after last weekend,” Boente revealed. “For a couple days it was completely flat because of the horrible things that were happening in Paris, but that influences all European events, concerts, sports events in general. Now after last weekend and all of Germany’s first and second division [football] games – everything was fine – the tickets are selling again. At this moment we have around 42,000 tickets sold, with six-eight thousand left depending on the seat blocking of RTL [the German TV channel who will broadcast the fight]. To have already sold 42,000 I think is huge – not too many fighters or fights can do that.
“The interest TV-wise in the UK, Germany and all over Europe is huge. I know 80 per cent of UK pay-per-view sales are normally done on the last day, but RTL are expecting over 10m viewers here.”