History

10 London football stadiums that hosted big fights

Muhammad Ali London football stadiums
On the anniversary of Muhammad Ali’s fight with Henry Cooper at Highbury, we list 10 London football stadiums that have hosted boxing

1. WEMBLEY STADIUM
England’s national football stadium has played host to such fights as Muhammad Ali-Henry Cooper I, Tim Witherspoon-Frank Bruno, Oliver McCall-Frank Bruno, Carl Froch-George Groves II and Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko.

2. HIGHBURY
Muhammad Ali and Henry Cooper came together at the home of Arsenal in a sequel of their Wembley clash. Ali retained his world heavyweight title after opening up a gruesome cut over Cooper’s eye.

3. WHITE HART LANE
Bouts that have been staged on Tottenham Hotspur’s turf include Len Harvey-Freddie Mills, Jack London-Bruce Woodcock, Frank Bruno-Joe Bugner and the ill-fated Chris Eubank-Michael Watson rematch.

4. LOFTUS ROAD
The crowning glory of Barry’s McGuigan’s career famously took place at the ground of Queens Park Rangers. “The Clones Cyclone” ended the long reign of WBA featherweight king Eusebio Pedroza.  

5. UPTON PARK
Local favourite Kevin Mitchell was unable to give his fellow West Ham fans something to cheer against Michael Katsidis, while David Haye beat Dereck Chisora in their controversial grudge match.

6. THE DEN
Millwall’s stadium was the setting for Herbie Hide’s crack at WBO heavyweight titlist Michael Bentt. Hide defeated his rival, who was left with career-ending head injuries.

7. STAMFORD BRIDGE
Arguably the greatest fighter Britain has ever produced, world flyweight champion Jimmy Wilde dropped Joe Conn 13 times en route to an utterly conclusive victory on Chelsea’s home soil. 

8. SELHURST PARK
In his contest prior to winning the British and Commonwealth middleweight titles, Len Harvey saw off late substitute Frank Moody, who was a previous holder of those belts. Crystal Palace’s ground was the venue.

9. THE VALLEY
Across the space of just three weeks, former British bantamweight champ Curley Walker boxed a trio of debutants at Charlton Athletic’s stadium, winning each match.

10. CRAVEN COTTAGE
During the final stretch of Billy Bird’s incredibly lengthy career, the triple centurion fought one of his ex-opponents, Johnny Blake, on Fulham’s patch. The bout finished in a draw.

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