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Three ‘physical’ former Man Utd stars tipped for careers in boxing by former world champion

PAULIE MALIGNAGGI has backed Wayne Rooney for a move into boxing – along with two other ex-Manchester United stars.

Rooney was offered the chance to make the switch to the ring by KSI’s Misfits Boxing promotion.

Paulie Malignaggi has baked Wayne Rooney moving into boxing

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Paulie Malignaggi has baked Wayne Rooney moving into boxing
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Rooney are two Malignaggi wants to see in boxing

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Rooney are two Malignaggi wants to see in boxingCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Romelu Lukaku, here clashing with Ibrahimovic, is another tipped for boxing potential

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Romelu Lukaku, here clashing with Ibrahimovic, is another tipped for boxing potentialCredit: Getty

And former world champion Malignaggi is all for it and wants to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic as well as Romelu Lukaku join him.

He told Lord Ping: “I don’t think it’s a bad idea, Wayne was always a physical forward like a Christian Vieri type.

“I think Rooney has the physicality and the skills, he was a very strong and a tremendous athlete.

“He’s a big boxing fan, when I met him he knew who I was, which threw me off. I’m interested in him boxing.

“There are certain guys in football who might be able to do some fighting; Wayne Rooney, Romelu Lukaku,  Zlatan Ibrahimovic, I’m on board with it.”

Rooney, 38, is an avid boxing fan and was infamously knocked out in his kitchen by fellow footballer Phil Bardsley in a boozy spar gone wrong.

Ibrahimovic, 42, meanwhile is a black belt in taekwondo while Lukaku, 30, is known for his physicality on the field.

Malignaggi, a former super-lightweight and welterweight champ, retired in 2017 and has since moved into punditry.

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Similarly, Rooney is now out of action since hanging his boots up and taking on coaching.

But he was recently sacked by Birmingham in January, which freed up Misfits – pioneers in celebrity-style bouts – to make him an offer.

Phil Bardsley reveals all about moment he KO’d Wayne Rooney in his kitchen and says he’ll fight him again

Rooney confirmed that a deal was proposed but spoke out to pledge his future to football.

He said on The Overlap podcast: “They’ve been in touch and asked the question, but I think at the minute I want to focus on getting back into management – not boxing.”

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