By Mark Staniforth and Nick Purewal
British boxing fans provided 60,000 reasons this week why promoters were right in setting the May rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves at Wembley Stadium.
The first batch of tickets sold out in under an hour, suggesting the attendance will comfortably exceed the existing post-War record of 55,000 for Ricky Hatton's homecoming against Juan Lazcano in Manchester in 2008.
Until late last month Froch had continued to maintain that the City Ground in his home city of Nottingham was favourite to host the eagerly-anticipated contest, fulfilling a career-long goal.
And Froch has conceded that the news that he will have to put his world super-middleweight titles on the line in his opponent's home manor is not the greatest he could have had.
Froch said: "When I fight in Nottingham it's only down the road so you've got all your home comforts, you know what food you're eating, if a neighbour's dog barks or a car alarm goes off, you know you will not be disturbed.
"But you get disturbed elsewhere - for the last fight there was an air conditioning unit next door, and it kept me up all night. It's not an excuse, but it's an example of something that is not ideal during fight week.
"You change rooms then you've got next door having a riot at two in the morning, so you're better off at home, definitely. Groves is happy it's at Wembley and he should be because he doesn't have far to come."
Any disappointment on Froch's part at failing to land a City Ground show will have been swiftly erased by news of the phenomenal ticket sales, which has catapulted this bout towards super-fight status.
It is a particularly welcome feeling for Froch, who spent much of his early career clinging onto the coat-tails of Joe Calzaghe, and was never quite able to break through to the same extent as his Welsh rival.
Now things have changed, and Froch will not much mind that it has taken two bouts against a man he openly admits to despising - and whom he had been expected to beat with ease - to do it.
Froch added: "It's not someone's football ground, it's the national stadium and I think we've crossed over to a lot of boxing fans - just those armchair fans who want to be part of a big event.
"There were two things I wanted to do before I retired - box on the (Las Vegas) Strip and be involved in an outdoor stadium fight.
"The Vegas lights is the ultimate and that's a box I want to tick before I retire. But this is a fight the fans wanted, and I'm happy to give the fans what they want. An outdoor fight for a boxer is the pinnacle, to be honest."
Mark Staniforth covers boxing for PA Sport
Tags: Carl Froch