Bookie Batterer

British and Irish boxing greats and their beloved football teams

Boxing and football often go hand in hand, with a lot of mutual respect flowing back and forth between fighters and players. Some of the biggest names in British and Irish boxing are known football fans. These heavy hitters are so into the sport they could even offer you football predictions if you asked for them.

Here are some of the biggest football fans in the boxing community.

Tyson Fury

The lineal heavyweight champion of the world is on cloud nine after successfully defending his crown against Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium earlier this month. His knockout victory will have been a welcome distraction from the state of his beloved Manchester United. Earlier this season, the Gypsy King threatened to storm the Red Devils’ training ground after a particularly humbling defeat against rivals Manchester City. He is surely not happy with the performances of Ralf Rangnick’s side this season, who look destined for Europa League qualification at best.

Ricky Hatton

From the woes of one side of Manchester to the ecstasy of the other. Former light welterweight and welterweight world champion Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton is perhaps best associated outside of boxing with his love of boyhood club Manchester City. Ricky was been flying the flag for the sky blue since long before the Middle Eastern takeover attracted millions of fair-weather fans. He’s followed the club through thick and thin and is surely delighted with the current crop of players on display at the Etihad Stadium. He’s also said to be very excited to make his boxing return as the 43-year-old prepares to compete in an exhibition against Marco Antonio Barrera later this year.

Anthony Joshua

Despite being one of the biggest names in the sport of boxing right now, heavyweight contender Anthony Joshua has stayed true to his home town team of Watford, who he vehemently supports. While he does have a soft spot for Real Madrid, being a big Cristiano Ronaldo fan, he has said on record that he fully supports Watford FC. He has even described former Hornets striker Troy Deeney as “a good friend”. Joshua will hope to do better in his rematch against Oleksandr Usyk later this year than his beloved team have done in the Premier League this season, with the Vicarage Road club almost certain to be relegated from the top flight in a matter of weeks.

Carl Frampton

When it comes to supporting a smaller side and resisting the allure of glory-hunting, there is perhaps no better example than Carl Frampton. Hailing from Tigers Bay in Belfast, the former super bantamweight and super featherweight world champion supports Belfast team Crusaders FC. According to several surveys, football fans in Northern Ireland the Republic of Ireland are much more likely to support Manchester United, Arsenal or Celtic before they are Dundalk, Cork City or Crusaders, and so Frampton stands out in this respect. He regularly gets involved with the club’s charity work, discusses the club on Twitter openly with other fans and has attended several games as a guest. Frampton is probably the biggest football fan on this list.

David Haye

The Hayemaker was one of the most successful British boxers in recent decades and even became world heavyweight champion in 2009. Haye is a big fan of Millwall FC in London. He’s been present at multiple matches over the years, including FA Cup clashes with bigger teams. For the team with the most feared fan base in the football league, it’s only fitting that they should have such a tough celebrity fan.

Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: