Anthony Joshua thumps boxing into the big time – but it’s gloves off for fans

Alcohol and cocaine blamed for crowd violence at local fights, with one announcer appealing: ‘Gentlemen, this is not football’

These are heady times for boxing. Crossover stars such as Anthony Joshua, who last night defended his world heavyweight titles, are broadening the sport’s appeal beyond traditional audiences, sending interest soaring. Joshua’s fight against Carlos Takam at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium took place in front of the largest ever crowd for an indoor bout.

Yet outside the ring, shadows have been cast by a spate of violent episodes among spectators, including what police describe as “large-scale disorder” outside one event this month, when a young man was stabbed to death.

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