Neville punches Barton, Man Utd legend gets revenge, Mourinho eye pokes rival on fantasy boxing card

Lewis Oldham
Neville and Barton
Gary Neville (like everyone) would probably love to punch Joey Barton.

Gary Neville having beef with Joey Barton was not on our 2024 bingo sheet, but it would be joyous to witness the Manchester United legend punch the idiotic misogynist.

But how would we get that? Well, a fantasy boxing card involving footballers and managers from past and present, of course.

At a time when social media stars overshadow actual boxers with crossover events, football is missing a trick by not getting in on the action.

Neville vs Barton would *obviously* take the main event slot, but for the fun of it, I’ve decided to pick out five more fights inspired by football feuds that would be settled by an appearance on this fantasy boxing card.

Jason McAteer and Roy Keane don’t quite make it onto the card after the ex-Liverpool star called his former Republic of Ireland team-mate out for a “fight” in November, but here are five other money-spinning bouts…

 

Arsene Wenger vs Jose Mourinho
Perhaps the greatest managerial feud in Premier League history, the Wenger-Mourinho fight may not be the best to watch, but the promo in the build-up would make it all worthwhile.

‘The Special One’ would get in the head of his opponent (the ‘specialist in failure’) a la Conor McGregor and drag the classy Frenchman into a pushing match as they once did on the touchline.

Wenger would do well to not be defeated before he even steps into the ring and he would go into this fight as the clear BabyFace, while the pesky Mourinho would pull out every dirty trick in the book (a low blow here and a thumb in the eye there) to gain an advantage.

Wenger and Mourinho

 

Lee Bowyer vs Kieran Dyer
We have already been gifted a tease of what this fight could look like when the two former Newcastle United team-mates infamously clashed at St James’ Park in 2005.

Then-Newcastle manager Graeme Souness (unsurprisingly) threatened to use his experience to rough up his two miscreants at half-time and not fancying that, the hot-headed midfield pair backed down before kissing and making up.

The huge payday of an appearance on this card could tempt the now-middle-aged pair to reignite their feud and Souness could even be dragged in (WWE-style) as a special guest referee for the contest.

 

Luis Suarez vs Patrice Evra
Suarez’s hate-filled spat with former Man Utd defender Evra makes this an obvious clash.

As for the fight itself, you get the impression that – just like Mourinho – Suarez would make it dirty and pay homage to Mike Tyson by attempting to bite off his opponent’s ear.

Evra meanwhile – unless there are loads of Liverpool supporters in attendance – would be the clear fan favourite on the night, and the lovable Frenchman getting revenge on Suarez by floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee would genuinely be great to see. We love this game.

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John Terry vs Wayne Bridge
If you are planning to build a heated boxing match between two fighters, a bit of infidelity will always do the trick.

Former team-mates at Chelsea, it emerged following Bridge’s move to Manchester City that Terry was having an affair with the ex-girlfriend of the left-back.

This led to a frosty reunion between the pair as the Man City defender (rightly, to be fair) refused to shake Terry’s hand before a Premier League match. The two players have no doubt moved past this soap opera, but there will still be bad blood between them. And as a famous bald man once said: “Who is better? There’s only one way to find out: FIGHT!”

 

Maxi Lopez vs Mauro Icardi
It would be remiss to have an all-football boxing card which did not include Lopez vs Icardi…

For those unaware of their gruesome tale, Lopez and Icardi were team-mates at Sampdoria and they appeared to be pretty good friends until the latter married the former’s ex-wife.

Icardi later twisted the dagger in Lopez’s heart by having the names of his former teammates’ children inked on his arm. So the former Inter Milan and PSG striker is a proper b*stard and if anyone deserves to be brought down a peg or two by being beaten in a boxing ring, it’s him.

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