Eddie Hearn says Wayne Rooney texts him while drunk asking for boxing matches

Wayne Rooney sends drunken messages to Eddie Hearn asking for a fight, according to the boxing promoter.

The Matchroom supremo is putting the final touches to Saturday’s show at the O2, which will see Anthony Joshua make his long-awaited return to action against American Jermaine Franklin.

However, it has crossed his mind that he could one day put on a show featuring Manchester United and England legend Rooney, who is a massive boxing fan. Hearn recently appeared on the Peter Crouch Podcast and was asked if any footballers could go into boxing, given the growing number of YouTube stars and celebrities who have taken up the sport in recent years.

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“Rooney can fight, I’ve spoke to Wayne,” said Hearn. “When Wayne has a drink, he’ll message me and he’ll start going, ‘I’ll fight him and I’ll fight him’, and I get excited.

“Sometimes I get a message from Wayne saying, ‘Make me vs so and so, make that fight’. I’ll look at it in the morning and go, ‘This is massive’. So I’ll message him back, ‘Few glasses of red or [are you serious?]’ Then he won’t reply and I’ll go, ‘Damn’. But Wayne can fight.”

Former Derby County manager Rooney, currently in charge of MLS side DC United, was ringside for Tyson Fury’s victory over Derek Chisora in December.

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Rooney was famously ‘knocked out’ by mate Phil Bardsley, then of Stoke City, after a friendly fight in the kitchen of his Cheshire mansion got out of hand. When a video of the incident emerged in the media, Rooney made light of it by performing a boxing celebration after scoring during a win over Tottenham.

Recalling the incident in 2019, Rooney told Hearn’s boxing podcast what really happened. “Growing up, I remember my dad used to give us the gloves in the house,” said Rooney. “It is something I have always loved doing. The night with Bardo, we got home and we put the gloves on. It is something that we do quite regularly – but that one got out!

“After I went down, the video stops but I wasn’t knocked out. We got up and carried on. I remember when we finished and the two of us sat there. My nose had gone and Bardo had blooding pouring out of his mouth. We were both looking at each other, saying: ‘what are we doing?’ But Bardo is the same. He has brought up in Manchester the same way I have in Liverpool. We both love boxing.

“I remember when it was coming out, I remember going in to see [Louis] van Gaal. He was the manager at the time. I said, ‘listen, this story is coming out about me and Phil Bardsley boxing in the house’ and he found it hilarious!

"I think what was perfect was when I scored and the celebration. I didn’t even plan it. When I scored it just came to me.”


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