Retired soccer star David Beckham declared himself "a huge fan" of boxer Manny Pacquiao on Friday and said he was excited at the prospect of the Pacquiao versus Brandon Rios fight on Sunday.
Beckham is one of a number of celebrity guests in Macau for the fight, at the invitation of the casino where the bout is taking place. Former England captain Beckham is collaborating on community projects with the casino owner, U.S. billionaire Sheldon Adelson.
The Pacquiao fight is a coup for Macau, a former Portuguese colony and now a special administrative region of China, like neighboring Hong Kong.
Its 35 gaming houses are the only places where Chinese nationals are allowed to gamble in casinos, and revenues are soaring with Macau gaming revenues expected to be seven times those of Las Vegas this year.
Now China's central government is calling for Macau to attract more tourists, not just hardcore gamblers, and hosting sports events is a direct way of doing this.