T.K. Stewart reports that Saturday's rematch between Lucian Bute and Librado Andrade at the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City is sold out. Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer said that means about 16,000 in attendance.
"The tickets sold out in less than one hour of going on sale," said Golden Boy CEO, Richard Schaefer on Tuesday afternoon.
When asked what a sell-out meant and how many people the Pepsi Colisee holds for boxing, "16,000" was Schaefer’s one word answer.
It’s a shocking number considering that more tickets have been sold for this fight than were sold for recent pay-per-view events that featured Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.
The number of tickets purchased by Bute’s loyal fans speaks to his amazing popularity in the province of Quebec. While boxing has nearly drowned in the mainstream in the United States – it is alive and thriving in other parts of the globe. It proves, even in a far outpost such as Quebec City, which is located on the often frozen shores of the St. Lawrence River, that if a fighter is developed into a regional attraction before being taken nationwide or worldwide it can result in a lucrative payback.
Bute is a solid as ice superstar in Quebec. His first fight with Andrade also sold in the vicinity of 16,000 tickets and he has filled Montreal's Bell Centre on other occasions.
"It shows you how big Lucian Bute is in Canada," said Schaefer. "It shows you he is one of those fighters that can pack a house."
To be honest, it's really not a shocking number at all. Shane Mosley and Antonio Margarito put just under 21,000 into the Staples Center in January, and Bute has proven to be a reliable big house draw in Quebec many times now.
I also have to disagree that boxing has "nearly drowned in the mainstream in the United States" -- this may have been true a couple years ago, but it's the furthest thing from the truth right now. Yes, boxing thrives in other parts of the world, and sells major houses all over the world. But the United States is no longer the big exception. The media coverage for Cotto-Pacquiao was huge, the last two major boxing PPVs have sold over a million units each, and Mayweather-Pacquiao is among the hottest topics in American sports.
But all that aside, the Bute-Andrade house is really impressive, and goes to show just how big of a star Bute is up there, and how respected Andrade is in the same area.