Boxing fans from near and far have backed the new Bendigo Stadium and the venue’s debut big-time bout, snapping up 4,700 tickets to watch superstar Jeff Horn take on challenger Michael “Pretty Boy” Zerafa on Saturday night.
Redeveloped with a $5 million investment by the Andrews Labor Government, Bendigo Stadium now features retractable seating that allows for a range of spectator events to be staged in an arena setting.
This morning there were just a few dozen tickets left for The Battle of Bendigo: Horn vs Zerafa, which was secured with support from the Labor Government’s $20 million Regional Events Fund.
With the fight to be broadcast on Foxtel throughout Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and China, it will raise the profile of Bendigo as a sporting and tourist destination.
Horn – known as “the Fighting Schoolteacher” – became an Australian sporting legend after he surprised superstar Manny Pacquiao with a stunning victory in their world welterweight championship bout in Brisbane in 2017. His opponent in Bendigo, the world-rated Zerafa, hails from Melbourne and is regarded as a fighter on the rise.
Saturday’s bout is the latest major event locked in for Bendigo Stadium. The stadium hosted its first international sporting event – a Boomers v. Kazakhstan men’s basketball match – last September.
Major events are vital to the state’s economy, generating more than $1.8 billion each year and bringing visitors from across Australia and around the world to Victoria.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula
“Major sporting events like Horn vs Zerafa should not be limited to Melbourne and through our Regional Events Fund we’re ensuring all Victorians gets the chance to see the big names in action.”
“These big sporting events are more than just great spectacles, they’re a big driver for local hospitality businesses and those benefits flow through the wider economy.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards
“With ticket sales passing 4,700 it’s clear fans are excited at the prospect of seeing this world-class bout in our redeveloped Bendigo Stadium.”
“This event has already proven to be a real winner for the entire Bendigo region.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020