WBC world heavyweight title holder Tyson Fury has said Manchester United record goal scorer Wayne Rooney has agreed to spar with him in preparation for a proposed bout with Oleksandr Usyk.
Earlier this month, Fury defeated Derek Chisora inside 10 rounds to retain his belt at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Fury has called out Usyk, but a fight has yet to be organised.
The “Gypsy King” said Rooney will help him prepare for a bout against the Ukrainian.
“I spoke to Wayne and he’s well up for it,” Fury said. “We’re going to bring Wayne in for preparation for Oleksandr Usyk. No [it’s not a joke], very serious. He’s going to come into camp for about four weeks to help me.”
Rooney, manager of MLS club D.C. United, is a renowned boxing fan who regularly attends matches in the UK.
After Fury’s 10-round demolition of Chisora, Rooney told TalkSPORT: “I think he’s the best we’ve seen in a long time, and I don’t think anyone will beat him. I think he’s an absolute legend for what he’s done for boxing. He’s entertaining, his skills are incredible, his mentality is incredible.
“If I’m being honest, I probably think he should be knighted because he hasn’t been afraid to go abroad, he’s won titles abroad, defended them abroad and he epitomises everything that boxing is.”
In response to Rooney’s praise, Fury said on Thursday he hoped to spar with Rooney, 37, and said he will need to practice against “someone smaller” in preparation for his desired bout with Usyk.
“Wayne Rooney is a proper legend,” he said. “And I grew up watching him as a youngster for England and United. So, that’s [an] amazing, amazing speech from him.
“He’s a massive boxing fan, he comes from a boxing family as well. So, hopefully, we can have a little spar in the future sometime. I do need someone smaller to prepare for Usyk. Wayne, if you’re listening, get on the blower, son.”
Tyson Fury confirms plans to spar Wayne Rooney