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Saturday, March 13, 2010
Crowd is one of biggest for indoor fight

By Calvin Watkins
ESPNDallas.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- A crowd of 50,994 turned out for the first boxing match at the $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium on Saturday night, the third largest crowd for an indoor fight in boxing history.

The original seating configuration for the card headlined by the Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey fight was for 45,000, but Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said it could go higher if needed. There were about 42,000 seats sold as of Friday, and stadium officials decided to sell standing-room only "party passes" for $35.

Cowboys Stadium made attendance headlines last month when a basketball world record of 108,713 packed the house for the NBA All-Star Game.

The outdoor boxing attendance record was set Feb. 20, 1993, in Mexico City. A reported 136,274 came for the Julio Cesar Chavez-Greg Haugen WBC welterweight bout at Estadio Azteca.

The largest indoor attendance was 63,315 in 1978 when Muhammad Ali fought Leon Spinks at the Louisiana Superdome in a heavyweight title fight.

Saturday's crowd at Cowboys Stadium ranks as the second largest for a boxing match in Texas. When Chavez fought Pernell Whitaker in September 1993 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, 58,891 showed up.

Calvin Watkins covers boxing for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter.