Four proposed opponents for Wayne Rooney boxing debut after Misfits talks

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Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney might be swapping football for boxing. But who could he face in the ring?

The 38-year-old star has been chatting with Misfits Boxing about joining one of their future events. Mams Taylor and Kalle Sauerland from Wasserman Boxing run the show, which some boxing fans don’t like because of the odd match-ups.

Rooney is a fan of boxing and even walked out with Ricky Hatton for a world title fight in Las Vegas in 2007. He used to be part of an amateur boxing club when during his childhood, but now he might put on the gloves for real. Let’s see who the United icon could go up against…

Wayne Rooney

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Jake Paul

Jake Paul, who started as a YouTuber and is now a boxer, has been criticised for not fighting real boxers and instead taking on athletes from other sports. This makes Rooney a perfect match. Eddie Hearn, the boss of Matchroom Boxing, has already suggested a fight between Paul and Rooney at Old Trafford.

“After every big fight, especially with a YouTuber, sometimes Wayne Rooney will fire me a message. I’ve said to Wayne, who had a very limited amateur pedigree but could still fight, imagine the shape you’d get in [if you trained for a fight],” Hearn told Sky Sports’ Stick To Football podcast.

“I told him, Wayne Rooney against Jake Paul at Old Trafford, imagine that. I get asked the question all the time, most footballers follow boxing and secretly they’d all love to have a go. Everyone thinks they can fight.”

Paul likely wouldn’t fight on bitter rival KSI’s promotion, so Rooney would have to compete on the American’s ‘Most Valuable Promotions’ for the fight to happen.


Who better for KSI to face in his Misfits Boxing debut than the founder of the promotion himself? KSI hasn’t fought since losing a decision to Tommy Fury last October but plans to have two big fights this year.

Rooney challenged the YouTube star to a boxing match last year, but KSI played down the potential mega-fight.

“It’s funny, and I hope he doesn’t get annoyed that I’m saying this, but Wayne Rooney hit me up saying ‘Oh we should fight’. I said ‘No’, I just don’t want to do that.

“If Wayne Rooney is down, I think it would be good to have him in the [influencer boxing] space,” KSI said at a press conference last January.

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Wayne Rooney trying his hand in boxing : r/ThreeLions

Simple Simon

One of the most likely fights for Rooney could be with 53-year-old influencer boxer ‘Simple’ Simon Colbran. The TikTok star was knocked out in just 48 seconds when he fought Ed Matthews at Kingpyn’s first ‘Settling Scores’ event in summer 2022.

Colbran didn’t fare any better against comedian Dapper Laughs last July, being knocked out in just over a minute. Rooney is 15 years younger than Colbran and would probably be faster and stronger than the TikTok star. Now it’s up to Misfits boss Mams Taylor to arrange the fight.

Phil Bardsley

The only person on this list that Rooney has some boxing experience with is his former Man United teammate Bardsley. In a video that looked like a friendly sparring session in Rooney’s kitchen, Bardsley was seen knocking him unconscious in 2015. Rooney ended up with a bloody lip after being knocked out for a few seconds.

Rooney recreated the viral moment in a famous celebration after scoring in a 3-0 win against Tottenham. “That’s the world we live in today, it was a few mates in a private house which has somehow managed to go front page of a national newspaper.

“It was me and a few friends joking around, I think it’s more interesting for other people rather than myself,” Rooney said about the video.


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