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Sales from De La Hoya-Pacquiao produce boxing's second-biggest gate

9/24/2008 - Boxing

The Golden Boy continues to have the golden touch.

Oscar De La Hoya's welterweight showdown with pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao on Dec. 6 sold out almost instantly after tickets went on sale Wednesday.

Organizers announced that all of the approximately 16,000 tickets to "The Dream Match" at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas (HBO PPV) sold out for a gate of almost $17 million.

The total makes De La Hoya-Pacquiao the second-biggest gate in boxing history, surpassed only by the $18,419,200 worth of tickets sold for De La Hoya's fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 5, 2007.

The total surpasses the $16,860,300 generated by the 1999 heavyweight championship rematch in Las Vegas between Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield, promoters said.

It means De La Hoya will be a part of four of the top 10 gates in Nevada history; his bouts with Felix Trinidad and Bernard Hopkins are also in the top 10.

"This is just a reflection of the overwhelming interest in this mega-event and we are extremely delighted that tickets sales were so swift," Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said. "The matchup is one of the best in boxing and will be one of the biggest events the sport has ever seen."

Bob Arum, whose Top Rank promotes Pacquiao, said, "This is fantastic and shows the magnitude and appeal of this event. When you have two superstars like Manny Pacquiao and Oscar De La Hoya fighting each other, the public is going to respond, and that is what they just did. No one wants to miss this one."

In addition to the arena, Arum said, there would be approximately 33,000 closed-circuit tickets available in Las Vegas priced at $60 and $100.

"It's a hot, hot fight. People will be screaming for tickets," Arum said. "How many fights that people go crazy about do $17 million, all in? But this fight is at $17 million and that does not even include the revenue that will be generated from the closed circuit, the pay-per-view, the foreign [television] sales and the sponsorships."

With Golden Boy, Top Rank and the MGM taking large chunks of tickets before the public sale, only a few thousand tickets were available.

The fighters will commence a six-city national media tour beginning Oct. 1 at the Statue of Liberty in New York. Other cities on the schedule are Chicago, Houston, San Antonio, San Francisco and Los Angeles, with most of the events open and free to the public.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.