Liverpool Football Club’s newly improved Anfield Stadium has been ratified to host boxing until 2020.
In a move by Liverpool City Council after several rounds of negotiations, Anfield has been handed a temporary license.
LFC can now host boxing events, whilst concerts and other showpieces are planned. The last music production was in 2008.
The request had initially been blocked as the Premier League club wanted to host more than six separate events in one year. Liverpool agreed to lower it to the an average of one every two months.
Councillor Jane Corbett said of the decision: “The local residents usually have respite from the football matches at ‘the end of the season’. This extended use of the stadium will mean that, in effect, there will no longer be an ‘end to the season’.”
Corbett’s words come after local residents had complained they are ‘trapped like rats’ on a Liverpool FC home match day.
Anfield has a capacity of just over 54,000 after recent improvements.
This means the likes of Callum Smith and Rocky Fielding, the cities current world champions (Smith WBC Diamond), would be able to realize their dream of defending their straps at the venue.
Fielding is set to return at the end of 2018 after winning his first championship in Germany. Whilst Smith faces George Groves on September 28 in the World Boxing Super Series final.
A win could push ‘Mundo’ closer to a rematch with Fielding after the undefeated puncher won a first round battle at the Echo Arena in 2015.
Staging a second fight, potentially at Anfield in the spring or summer of 2019, hinges on both coming through their respective contests this year.
Anfield would certainly be the prefered venue for promoter Eddie Hearn to build a return. The likes of Stephen Smith, David Price and others would be in line for the undercard.
Boxing matches were regularly held at the ground during inter-war years.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay