Sellout expected for Pacquiao-Clottey

Updated: March 9, 2010, 5:37 PM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

GRAPEVINE, Texas -- Promoter Bob Arum said Tuesday that he doesn't expect the remaining tickets to last for Saturday's Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey fight at Cowboys Stadium.

"Definitely," Arum said. "It will be sold out."

About 41,000 tickets have been sold, with seating capacity set at 45,000 for the first boxing match at the $1.2 billion stadium. Pacquiao will defend his WBO welterweight title.

Arum said he's eager to hold more fights at the home of the Cowboys, adding that Kelly Pavlik, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and other boxers will be at the fight in hopes of getting to become headliners there.

"I have never had an experience where the venue has played such a paramount role in the promotion," said Arum. "It's helped us sell the tickets, helped us get the publicity. ... Whatever works."

The ring will be on the star logo at the 50-yard line. The world's largest high-definition television screen will loom above, giving people in the worst seats a close-up look at every bead of sweat and drip of blood.

"This is going to be big time," Jones said Tuesday during a conference call with reporters. "I'm going to over-deliver what it means to [fans] to be involved in this stadium. ... That does enhance the competition, help the sport. You're not going to need any incentive to get these fighters to compete."

Having already hosted the NBA All-Star Game, and with the Super Bowl coming in February, Jones wants Cowboys Stadium to be a prime destination for boxing, too.

That's why it was so important for him to get Pacquiao for the debut.

"You don't want to deal with anything but the top," Jones said. "This says everything to have Manny Pacquiao and this competition. It says everything I want."

Jones hopes to pack the high-dollar seats with his running buddies -- all sorts of current and former Cowboys greats, including former coach Jimmy Johnson.

"It's no accident there are going to be many football players here," Jones said. "There is a crossover of interest. That really excites me. I'm not trying to be presumptuous but we all know how popular the NFL is right now. That raises all boats. That's a big thing to me."

If Cowboys Stadium can land two or three big fights per year, as Jones hopes, that would put him in competition with Las Vegas.

But Jones again invoked the "rising tide" notion, believing that the popularity of fights at his building will generate "more interest and more visibility for fighting."

Arum agrees.

"I love Las Vegas, I live in Las Vegas," he said. "But the tickets are limited by the size of the arena and they generally go to the high-rolling casino customers. Here, the sales pitch is about the public. ... You cannot be a major sport if all your big events are in one city where people have to come from all over to attend the event. The Super Bowl wouldn't be as big, in my opinion, if it had to be held in the same city every year."

As for planning the next fight here, stay tuned.

"We want to get this one over first," Arum said. "Once we get this one over ... we'll sit down and plot the future."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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