Home Sports Boxing's strangest venues from the Playboy Mansion to Pinewood TV studios

Boxing's strangest venues from the Playboy Mansion to Pinewood TV studios

Frank Warren hosting bouts in the BT Studio and Eddie Hearn taking boxing to his own back garden… it’s all a bit strange isn’t it?

But boxing is no stranger to bizarre venues with many fans left wondering ‘where?’ when fights are announced.

Hearn has set up Fight Camp amid the coronavirus lockdown with four weeks of boxing getting underway this week.

It comes after Warren took over the BT Studios for Joe Joyce’s bout with Michael Wallisch last weekend.

And, with those strange settings in mind, Daily Star Sport has looked at four of boxing’s strangest venues over the years…

The Playboy Mansion

David Haye v Vance Winn (July 15, 2003)

David Haye did once fight in front of Hugh Hefner at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills.

The ring was set up in the huge garden of the famous lothario’s home in just his fifth professional outing.

The bout didn’t last long, just 54 seconds to be precise as it was a warm-up act to rising super-middleweight star Jeff Lacy.

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Hefner posed with Haye afterwards in the ring and there was a party afterwards with the Playboy bunnies in attendance.

Hotel Quinta do Lago, Almancil, Portugal

Chris Eubank v Ron Essett (June 27, 1992)

Chris Eubank ensured he got the victory in Portugal
Chris Eubank ensured he got the victory in Portugal

Boxing in the Algarve with a view of the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop? What’s not to like? The boxing that night, is for one. The bore on the shore they should have called this.

Eubank laboured to a points win over the American in a defence of his WBO super-middleweight crown.

The eccentric Brighton-based boxer was fond of an odd venue as he also competed at a tennis club in Dubai long before the United Arab Emirates became a tourism hotspot.

Pinewood TV Studios

Gotthard Hinteregger v Jozsef Matolcsi (December 9, 2005)

The show had to go on, even if it was in Pinewood Studios
The show had to go on, even if it was in Pinewood Studios

This was another Hearn production but this time they were forced into a studio after a blood test revealed hepatitis in Ghana’s Agoe Ashong who was due to face Kevin Anderson in Glasgow.

But the show had to go on because Hearn promised Polish TV rising star Grzegorz Proksa would fight so 18 hours later they ended up in the same studio The Weakest Link quiz was filmed in.

Pinewood Studios was also made famous by the James Bond movies.

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Stade du 20 Mai, Zaire

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Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman – (October 30, 1974)

Muhammad Ali and George Foreman took their fight to Zaire
Muhammad Ali and George Foreman took their fight to Zaire

Ali and Foreman went toe-to-toe in Kinshasa, Zaire, in a bout famously known as ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’.

The bout was staged in the Stade du 20 Mai, now named Stade Tata Raphael.

Not unknown for boxing to be in a stadium but for such a huge fight to be taken to Africa was monumental at the time and also highly controversial.

Ali produced one of the most iconic sporting victories in history by knocking Foreman out having let him waste energy with the rope-a-dope tactic.

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