By Gifford Lee
One of the biggest Sundays of live sport ever is just days away as two Aussie fighters defend their world titles on the same day.
Brisbane’s Jeff Horn – who rose to fame after dethroning boxing legend Manny Pacquiao last year – defends his WBO welterweight title against the top ranked American Terence Crawford in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Rob Whittaker headlines UFC 225 in Chicago as he puts his middleweight belt on the line in a rematch against Yoel Romero. Fellow Aussies Tai Tuivasa and Megan Anderson also feature on the UFC card, facing Andrei Arlovski and Holly Holm respectively.
Fox Sports’ national pay-per-view manager, Japhy Duldig, told TheShout venues can make a good fist of Sunday’s events as fans cheer on the Aussie line-up.
“Venues have the chance to create a huge day of trade, with the boxing beginning at 10am and the UFC finishing around 3.30pm. The NRL game between the Storm and Broncos kicks off at 4pm as well, while Monday is a public holiday for some States,” Duldig said.
“Both Horn and Whittaker represent what Aussie’s love in a sportsperson – courage, a never-say-die attitude and humility. We love an underdog and Horn will be using all his grit and desire to beat the arrogant, but highly skilled Crawford. While Whittaker will be wanting to show why he is the rightful champion and beat the powerful Romero again and retain his belt.”
Norths Leagues Club in Kallangur, Queensland, who have booked Sunday’s double-header, are expecting “a massive day” and one to rival the success they had for Horn’s fight against Pacquiao in July last year.
“We’re expecting it will be a massive day for us,” Norths’ gaming and marketing manager Jon Klatt said.
“We had more than 500 people attend the Horn-Pacquiao fight and this Sunday we’ll get that and perhaps more.
“There is definitely a big following for Horn in this area but we also get strong support for UFC as well – especially when there are Aussies involved.”
The Horn card gets underway on Fox Sports HD channel 264 (SD 507) at 10am while UFC 225’s main card begins at 12pm on Main Event on HD channel 253 (SD 521). Both events are pay-per-views and venues wishing to subscribe need to contact their Fox Sports service provider. Fans can also catch the UFC 225 prelim bouts on Fox Sports HD channel 255 (SD 501) from 10am.