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Tyson Fury claims Wayne Rooney has accepted his offer to be his sparring partner to prepare for a blockbuster fight against Oleksandr Usyk.
The Gypsy King is poised for a 2023 heavyweight unification battle with undefeated Usyk after the Ukrainian was ringside as he defended his WBC belt with a 10-round pummelling of veteran Derek Chisora at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Fury is a Manchester United fan and the club's all-time leading goalscorer Rooney also witnessed his brutal beating of Chisora ringside. And Rooney suggested that Fury deserved a knighthood after his win, insisting that the 34-year-old should be royally recognised for winning world titles on foreign soil in Germany and America.
READ MORE: Tyson Fury has back-up plan for Wembley sell-out fight if Oleksandr Usyk clash collapses
And Fury responded to Rooney's effusive praise on TalkSPORT, suggesting he hoped to use the 5 ft 9 in DC United boss as a training partner as he continues to degrade 6 ft 3 rival Usyk as a 'middleweight'.
"Hopefully, we can have a little spar in the future sometime," Fury said. "I do need someone smaller to prepare for Usyk. Wayne, if you’re listening, get on the blower, son!"
And Fury now appears to have made plans with Rooney after speaking to the former England star about his Usyk camp.
Who are you backing to win out of Fury and Usyk? Let us know in the comments section.
"I spoke to Wayne [Rooney] last night and he's well up for it," the heavyweight champion told ITV. "But he's a right-handed person, so he's got to switch up to be southpaw left-handed. So we're going to bring Wayne in for preparation for Usyk."
"No very very serious," Fury reiterated, when asked if he was joking. "He's agreed, so he's going to come into camp for around four weeks to help me."
Rooney famously has history with the boxing gloves after an impromptu sparring session with football pal Phil Bardsley in 2015.
The legendary striker was left flat on his back seven years ago after being struck by former United teammate Bardsley during a scrap in his own kitchen.
Speaking on the UTD Podcast, Bardsley explained the publicised incident: "He’s (Rooney) throwing a few bombs, and he’s a big lad and strong. We’re exchanging blows, and he just walked into a jab. He was out a couple of seconds and we were all panicking. I didn’t know what to do, everyone was panic stations!"
Rooney later celebrated a United goal at Old Trafford against Tottenham by shadow boxing and pretending to be knocked out.
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- Wayne Rooney
- Tyson Fury
- Oleksandr Usyk
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