Six fighters who fought at football stadiums as Paddy Pimblett targets Anfield

Football stadiums are often used for more than just showcasing the beautiful game, with concerts, boxing fights and even NFL games now taking place at grounds outside of the regular season.

Their ready made capacity makes them the dream venue for any fighting promoter, but it can also be the ideal battle ground for specific fighters, who may have a sentimental connection with the location. Paddy Pimblett revealed that he won't be fighting at the London 02 again, and put the pressure on Dana White to secure Anfield as the next venue.

"I know I won't be fighting in the O2 again – it's too small," Pimblett rallied. "As I say, we will do Anfield, I promise you now. Dana's said that he won't do Anfield, but he also said women wouldn't fight in the UFC years ago and Ronda Rousey came along.

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"He said he won't do a stadium in the UK, but the Baddy's come along. So we will." And after the Scouse reception that both Pimblett and Molly McCann got at the 02, even White must be seeing the potential of an event in the north west.

But he won't be the first fighter to take centre stage in front of a packed football stadium, as many greats have done the same before him. And here Daily Star Sport brings you six other stars that have fought at memorable stadiums.

Anthony Joshua – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Although he may be more known for being a Watford fan, the opportunity to be the first main event at the brand new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was one that Joshua couldn't miss out on. Extremely close to home, Joshua stepped out to defend his title, but was beaten by Oleksandr Usyk.

And he was well beaten too, as Joshua was humbled by a unanimous decision in favour of his opponent, who he will fight again next month.

Tyson Fury – Wembley Stadium

Fury recently beat Dillian Whyte by knockout in the sixth round at Wembley Stadium, to claim his 32nd win without defeat. It was his 23rd knockout in a staggering career, but the first time he had fought at the home of football.

The heavyweight champion had previously fought nearby at the Wembley Arena, and at many venues around the UK. And before the big fight against Whyte, he had been showcasing in America during a three-fight brawl with Deontay Wilder.

But Fury finally got his big gig at home, and the champion signalled that after winning it would be the end of his career. However, money talks, and he's recently ignited the feud with Joshua.

Ricky Hatton – Etihad Stadium

Ricky Hatton remains British boxing royalty, and the former lightweight and welterweight champion felt the support of Manchester behind him, similarly with Pimblett and Liverpool. And Hatton managed to secure a fight at the City of Manchester Stadium, now known as the Etihad.

The Hitman faced off against Juan Lazcano in 2008, with his title on the line against the Mexican. And Lazcano came into the fight with an intimidating record of 37-1.

But Hatton won via unanimous decision and the Manchester crowd was ecstatic as their local man had done the job. Hatton now helps coach his son, Campbell, who is currently 7-0 at the age of 21.

Mike Tyson – Hampden Park

Mike Tyson is one of the most famous boxers of all-time, and is known not just for that brutal knockout punch, but also a lot of other controversial moments too. But Tyson fought in front of a hostile crowd in Glasgow, as he took on Lou Savarese at Hampden Park.

20,000 were in attendance on a cold and wet night in Glasgow, as they prepared to watch Tyson's third fight following his release from prison. They saw the best of Tyson, although not for very long.

Tyson saw the fight stopped inside 38 seconds, but they were there to witness an iconic call-out of British boxer Lennox Lewis. However, Lewis won the battle when the pair met in Tennessee.

Muhammad Ali – Highbury

The great Muhammad Ali has graced the English shores, and Arsenal fans will be bragging with the fact that he fought at their old ground Highbury. Arsenal may now be blessed with the Emirates Stadium, but fans still remember the brilliant Highbury ground that's filled deep with history.

And one of the non footballing parts of history at the ground saw Ali fight Henry Cooper in front of 41,000. Ali won the previous battle at Wembley, and was victorious again.

Ali won via TKO in the sixth round, and retained his bragging rights in 1966. Both fighters have now sadly passed away, but remain all-time greats of the sport.

Kevin Mitchell – Upton Park

Kevin Mitchell was in dreamland back in 2015, as the West Ham fan secured a fight at Upton Park, although it didn't end as he would have hoped. Mitchell lost to Michael Katsidis in the biggest fight of his career so far.

What was meant to be the biggest night of his life, ended in disaster in front of 24,000 at Upton Park, but Mitchell opened up about his struggles going into the bout. "Going into the Michael Katsidis fight I was splitting up with my missus," he revealed.

"Family lifestyle was the problem. I was hardly going to the gym, drinking down the pub, getting in trouble, yet it was the biggest fight I had ever had. "I was 25, I was hot-headed. You can’t stop it when it is going wrong, it just has to take its own course and that is how it went. I should have just pulled the show, but it was a dream come true for me."


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