Five spars at the Spurs: Tottenham’s grounds have hosted major boxing matches for nearly a century, including Frank Bruno winning the first major fight promoted by Barry Hearn
- Anthony Joshua meets Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
- Tottenham’s old pitch White Hart Lane hosted some legendary fights
- Bruce Woodcock won an epic Battle of Britain over Jack London in 1945
- Frank Bruno stopped Joe Bugner in eight rounds in front of 40,000 fans in 1987
- Michael Watson’s tragic loss to Chris Eubank was the last big fight in the Lane
Anthony Joshua prepares to meet Oleksandr Usyk at the smashing new Tottenham Hotspur stadium on Saturday.
But the history of boxing on the Tottenham football ground goes back almost a century.
Sports post looks at five key fights at Spurs’ old home, White Hart Lane.
Anthony Joshua (pictured) will fight Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
It’s the first fight to be held at Spurs’ new stadium, but White Hart Lane hosted a lot of fights
JIM SMITH v PAT KING (April 13, 1922)
In the first open air fight in London, 7,000 fans saw Smith King beat for the Dockland Settlements Championship.
FREDDIE MILLS at LEN HARVEY (20 June 1942)
The event had to end in daylight to prevent lights in the ground from breaking the blackout imposed during the Blitz. Fearless Freddie committed by knocking out British and Empire lightweight champion Harvey in the second round.
BRUCE WOODCOCK v JACK LONDON (July 17, 1945)
In a highly anticipated Battle of Britain, Woodcock inflicted three knockdowns in the sixth round to free Jack London from the British and Empire heavyweight titles.
FRANK BRUNO v JOE BUGNER (October 24, 1987)
Forty thousand flocked to the first big fight promoted by Barry Hearn.
Frank Bruno defeated Joe Bugner in eight rounds at White Hart Lane in 1987 in front of 40,000 fans
Only family and friends supported Bugner, who was never forgiven for his points loss to heavyweight favorite Henry Cooper.
Bugner had come out of retirement but turned it into a fight until Bruno stopped him in the eighth round.
CHRIS EUBANK v MICHAEL WATSON (24 September 1991)
This tragic super middleweight world title battle ended with Watson fighting for his life and then becoming horribly disabled.
During Chris Eubank’s fight with Michael Watson in 1991, Watson fell into a coma
Watson was ahead on all the scorecards, but was caught in the 11th round by an upper-cut from which he had not recovered when he was sent off for 12th.
The fight was stopped and minutes later he collapsed.
With no ambulance present, vital minutes were lost before he was given oxygen and taken to hospital. Watson came out of a coma and could no longer speak or walk.