From the moment the much-anticipated fight between heavyweight world titleholder Anthony Joshua and former long-reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko was put together this past fall, everybody in boxing knew it would be an enormous event.
Now there is a way to at least partially quantify just how big.
A second batch of tickets for the April 29 showdown at Wembley Stadium in London went on sale Monday and sold out in an hour, helping the fight set the British boxing box-office record with more than 80,000 tickets sold, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn announced.
Joshua-Klitschko has now exceeded the record of about 80,000 tickets sold for the 2014 super middleweight world title rematch between then-titleholder Carl Froch and George Groves in a fight Hearn also promoted.
“The demand for tickets for Joshua versus Klitschko is phenomenal,” Hearn said. “This is unquestionably the biggest fight in British boxing history and we would have sold out Wembley twice over.”
Hearn is now aiming to increase the number of tickets available for the fight between the two Olympic gold medalists — Joshua in 2012 and Klitschko in 1996.
“We have put a request in to Brent Council, the Mayor’s office and [Transport for London, the city’s mass transit operator] to increase the capacity by a further 5,000 tickets,” Hearn said. “We are confident of a positive answer and we will release further news shortly. Roll on April 29!”
Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs), of England, will make his third defense against Ukraine’s Klitschko (64-4, 54 KOs), who reigned as world champion for nearly 10 years before being upset in a decision loss to Tyson Fury in November 2015.
The fight is also expected to generate enormous numbers on Sky Box Office pay-per-view in the United Kingdom. The television outlet in the United States is not yet set, with Showtime, which has ties to Joshua, and HBO, which has ties to Klitschko, in a bidding war for the rights to the fight.
Hearn told ESPN he was unsure which network would land the fight because they have both been “very aggressive for it. I think a decision will be made end of this week/early next [week].”