Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra will make a surprise boxing debut when he fights Adam Saleh on the undercard of a heavyweight clash between Martyn Ford and ‘Iranian Hulk’ Sajad Gharibi at the O2 Arena this spring.

Evra enjoyed an illustrious career as a player, winning five Premier League titles, two Serie A titles and one Champions League. Since retiring from football in 2019, he has turned his attention to punditry and has established himself as a social media personality, gaining nearly 10 million followers on Instagram alone. The ex-France international has shifted his focus to boxing as he readies himself for an eventful night to see ex Tottenham player Jamie O’Hara step into the ring. 

The former France captain, 40, will fight on the undercard of Martyn Ford vs Sajad Gharibi, with former Tottenham Hotspur and Wolves midfielder Jamie O’Hara also on the card fighting Katie Price’s ex-boyfriend Kris Boyson.

The Manchester United legend has been keeping fit by boxing since calling time on his playing career back in 2019. He has been keen to test his skills and such an opportunity against social media personality Adam Saleh, who has fought before.

At 5 “6”, he is smaller than the 5 “9” Evra, but his increased boxing experience and being 12 years younger make this an exciting duel. Saleh has had three fights, beating unlicensed boxing journeyman Marcus Stephenson in 2019, before winning against prankster Anas ElShayib before a draw with TikToker Walid Sharks.

The bout between the two men will take place at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday, April 30, and it will be Evra’s first-ever celebrity fight.

“Massive respect to all the boxer around the world,” read the caption on Evra’s footage. “I’m coming into the boxing world with humility, respect & excitement for the sport! Ready to learn.”

Already heating up

The Manchester United legend chose Saleh as his opponent, but the influencer stressed that Evra might regret his decision. 

“They showed like four or five opponents to Patrice Evra and I was one of them,” Saleh said.

“Him and his PR team chose me, and they made a mistake. He’s starting his boxing career, but I’m about to end his boxing career. They truly believe that he can knock me out. That’s what they told me through the phone, ‘Are you ready for Patrice Evra to knock you out”.

“But you know, I’m just happy and grateful to share the ring with a football legend from Manchester United, who was teammates with Cristiano Ronaldo.”