Horn can do a Rocky and stun Pacquiao
BOXING: Promoter Dean Lonergan has likened Jeff Horn's rise to fame to a Hollywood movie as the former Brisbane schoolteacher gets ready to take on Manny Pacquiao at Suncorp Stadium on July 2.
Lonergan, the director of Duco Events which is putting on the show in Brisbane, said 44,000 tickets had been sold for the so-called "Battle of Brisbane" and the final figure could reach 55,000.
He urged Aussie sports fans to grab their tickets now and compared Horn's rise to that of the Rocky Balboa character portrayed by Sylvester Stallone in the fabled series of boxing films.
"A lot of Aussies don't know Jeff Horn and might not be aware of his talents," Lonergan, a former New Zealand rugby league international, said.
"But at the back end of this event when Jeff wins - and I think he will - we are going to have the birth of an Australian sporting superstar.
"This is a real Rocky story.
"Think about it - the last time Jeff Horn fought in Brisbane we had a crowd of 1500 people. "Now he could be fighting in front of 55,000 or maybe more.
"Jeff has fought in front of big crowds before, he was on the undercard of the Joseph Parker heavyweight fight at Vextor Arena in Auckland last year.
"But 55,000 is a different story."
Lonergan is expecting a tough battle between Horn, who is unbeaten in 17 fights, and Pacquiao, an 11-time world title holder and eight-time divisional champion.
He said Horn was in the best shape he could possibly be to turn his dream into reality.
"Jeff's ready," he said.
"He has trained the best he has ever trained and he is one tough guy.
"While they respect Jeff, Pacquiao and even more so his trainer Freddie Roach have been talking about future fights and I say to them, 'You are thinking too far forward'.
"The way Jeff fights and the way Manny fights, it's going to be a war.
"I think we are going to be in for an absolute blockbuster on July 2.
"The cheapest tickets start at $39 and I encourage everyone to get there. If Jeff Horn wins you could witness one of the greatest Australian sporting occasions ever."