It’s rare for a sport other than football to capture the imagination of a Premier League fan, their dedication to their chosen team usually eclipsing all else. However, football fanatics have always had a soft sport for the sweet science, meaning they occasionally open their doors to the gladiators of the squared circle. Here are some of the best from down the years, as well as a look at which fight might be next to grace a Premier League stadium.
David Haye vs. Dereck Chisora – Upton Park in 2012
London-based Premier League teams have been struggling to get their hands on the land’s shiniest silverware of late, and of all of them West Ham have fallen on tough times, owned by suited chancers and fighting ever-shortening relegation odds. Many fans fear they may befall the fate of Derek Chisora, who in 2012 was knocked out for the count by the then betting favourite David Haye. After a bitter build-up, that involved a bottle exploding on Chisora’s head and Haye accidentally launching a camera tripod at his own trainer, the battle inside the ring was fiercely fought too with Haye saved by the bell a few rounds prior to then catching up to Chisora with a vicious combination.
Nigel Benn vs. Chris Eubank 2 – Old Trafford in 1993
The Old Trafford crowd are one of the most demanding in the country, expecting nothing short of perfection from their club’s charges. Thankfully Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank produced a fight equal to any Premier League barnstormer or Champions League thriller, with the second of their two-fight series ending in a draw. The final round is widely thought to be one of the best ever witnessed in a British ring.
Henry Cooper vs. Cassius Clay 2 – Highbury in 1966
The greatest fighter to ever lace gloves fought Henry Cooper twice on British shores, first in a controversial win at Wembley which saw Clay helped to his feet by his trainer having been knocked down by a thudding left hook. The rematch treated Gunners fans to Ali’s incredible ability to adapt and work another fighter out, comprehensively out boxing his foe, who was eventually halted due to a nasty cut.
Could Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua be Next?
With all bets off on how and when upcoming bouts will be rescheduled, it could well be the case that Anthony Joshua skips his mandatory challenge from Kubrat Pulev and opts instead to face Tyson Fury. Whichever stadium gets that fight really is in for a treat.