Chris John’s title defense in May could help transform Singapore into a boxing hub where superfights can be held.
John, the WBA featherweight champion, and his promoters are confident the undefeated Indonesian's fight against Shoji Kimura on May 5 will make this possible.
John, known as “The Dragon”, will defend his title for the 16th time when he faces the Japanese challenger on May 5.
The 32-year-old champion hopes the location can also raise his profile.
"I hope it is going to be a great fight. This is the (Chinese zodiac) dragon year; I am the dragon, so I wish I can knock my opponent out and retain my title," he said on Wednesday.
Despite collecting the WBA's “Fighter of the Decade” award last week, John struggles for recognition in the boxing strongholds.
He has a professional record of 46-0-2, including a victory over the highly regarded Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez.
But his reluctance to fight in the United States has led to criticism of his record and restricted his pool of opponents.
Manny Pacquiao, of the Philippines, has made himself a household name with victories at various weight divisions in bouts all over America.
Now John’s Australian promoters hope that fights at the glitzy venue in Singapore will entice other champions to fight the Indonesian.
"It is our passion to help people reach their dreams and Marina Bay Sands is going to be the reason we see a lot more fighters like Manny Pacquiao come out of Asia," Angelo Hyder, of event promoter Nitro Explosion, said.
"We are going to do our best to bring the best fights in the world to Singapore and Asia.”
Hyder's reluctance to send John to America stems from the fighter’s first appearance there in 2009, when he was awarded a draw against Rocky Juarez after appearing to have done enough to win.
John returned to America a few months later to beat Juarez on points but the result of the first fight still irks them.
John could unify the featherweight division and take on WBO champion Orlando Salido of Mexico or WBC title holder Jhonny Gonzalez in fights in America.
But Hyder said: "We are going to let the world chase us, because we have the best venue in the world for boxing and we have got some of the greatest fighters.
"Let the Americans and the Mexicans … come fight in Asia, on our terms.” Tags: Chris John