Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be. We're boxing at Wembley....

30 April 2017 03:09

Anthony Joshua's IBF and WBA heavyweight title defeat of Wladimir Klitschko may eventually be remembered as the greatest fight to take place at Wembley Stadium.

Here, Press Association Sport revisits four of the finest Wembley has staged.

Carl Froch v George Groves, May 2014

The conclusion to one of the most intense rivalries ever seen in British boxing was the savage right hand Froch landed in the eighth round of this rematch that instantly knocked Groves out. The challenger appeared to have been building an impressive lead, but the way Froch so ruthlessly secured victory ensured this will be remembered as the finest night in one of the finest careers of any British boxer. He had successfully defended his IBF and WBA super-middleweight titles in front an 80,000-strong crowd, and unlike so few, retired at the very top, having never fought again.

Frank Bruno v Oliver McCall, September 1995

The hugely-popular Bruno had lost his previous three world heavyweight title fights, and almost certainly would not have earned another, when he finally achieved his dream by outpointing America's WBC champion McCall in the last fight at the old Wembley. McCall had won his title from Bruno's compatriot Lennox Lewis, and on a chilly evening in front of 30,000, made his challenger wait 15 minutes for him to enter the ring. After Bruno started fast, McCall threatened to take over in the second half of the fight. The challenger responded positively, but was left clinging on for the final three nervy minutes until victory was secured. It was his finest hour.

Frank Bruno v Tim Witherspoon, July 1986

Bruno's first world-title fight came at the same venue, and also against an American opponent, but this time he fought for the WBA title. Britain had not had a world heavyweight champion since Bob Fitzsimmons in 1897 and hopes for Bruno were high; Muhammad Ali was also ringside. Similarly to the night of his first ever defeat, by James "Bonecrusher" Smith in 1984, the Briton impressed until being overwhelmed with fatigue and suffering an 11th-round stoppage.

Muhammad Ali v Henry Cooper, June 1963

The Greatest's most memorable fight in the UK is widely remembered as the night Cooper threw a fourth-round left hook that put Ali down. His decorated trainer Angelo Dundee later admitted to using smelling salts to help his revival, and to tweaking the loose stitching in his right glove to extend the interval before the fifth round while a replacement was found. Cooper had already been cut by his eye in the second, and as Ali responded with a series of big rights and he struggled to see, he could barely defend himself. Referee Tommy Little waved the action over after one minute and 15 seconds of the fifth, the round in which Ali had predicted victory.

Source: PA