Boxing’s first major stadium event of the COVID-19 era will go down in Townsville, Queensland, Australia’s Queensland Country Bank Stadium when Jeff Horn faces Tim Tszyu on August 26th. According to Sporting News Australia, “[u]p to 16,000 fans are expected to be admitted into the stadium on fight night, with tickets going on sale this week.”
Though this seems reckless on paper, it’s worth noting that Queensland has done a terrific job of flattening the curve. They’ve had just 13 cases since the start of June and just one in the last 24 hours as of this writing. Despite a population of over five million, they’ve reported only six total deaths and have a single patient currently hospitalized.
Compare that to the similar-sized South Carolina, which has 56 times as many cases and over 900 deaths and counting.
Horn (20-2-1, 13 KO) and Tszyu (15-0, 11 KO) have been jawing at each other for months, though the latter with more venom than the former. Horn pointed out Tszyu’s lack of strong opposition and Tszyu called Horn a “stepping-stone.” The larger, younger Tszyu is presently favored to beat Horn, who avenged a shock knockout loss to Michael Zerafa in December.
Now to wait and see if they load up the undercard with Aussie talent or rely on the main event.