MANNY PACQUIAO’S WBO welterweight title defence against Jeff Horn on July 2 has officially become the biggest fight in Australia’s history after selling over 40,000 tickets.

The Filipino hero will travel to Horn’s home country and fight him at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane next month.

Queensland’s Minister for Tourism and Major Events Kate Jones confirmed that ticket sales surpassed the 38,000 record set by Azumah Nelson’s win over Jeff Fenech in Melbourne in 1992.

“We always knew this fight would pack a punch for Brisbane,” she said.

“With 40,000 tickets already sold it will be the biggest boxing crowd ever seen in Australia.

“This fight also has the potential to host a record Suncorp Stadium crowd of 55,000 fans, with more than a month to go. The chance to see our local hero take on one of the greatest boxers of all time is an opportunity too good to miss.

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“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.”

The fight was secured by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) in partnership with the Brisbane City Council and Suncorp Stadium.

Before it was announced, Pacquiao had previously claimed he and former gym mate Amir Khan had agreed terms to finally fight, but negotiations fell through. Manny’s fight with Horn is the first step on a mooted ‘world tour‘.

Pacquiao returned to boxing last November after a short-lived retirement by unseating then-WBO champion Jessie Vargas over 12 dominant rounds.

Horn, nine years Pacquiao’s junior at 29, was a decent amateur but lacks a standout win as a professional, making him a significant underdog against Manny.