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Former Liverpool player Jason McAteer has called on Roy Keane to join him in the ring and settle their differences with a £2million boxing match. The pair have gone back and forth in recent days after their on-field clashes were brought up as the Manchester United icon discussed the several red cards he was given during his playing career.
In 2002, Keane was given his marching orders for the third time in six months as tempers flared when United took on McAteer’s Sunderland. After the pair exchanged several feisty challenges, Keane struck McAteer in the face with his elbow and left the referee with no option but to send him off.
Speaking on The Overlap about the incident, Keane said: “He deserved it. Just because you play with someone doesn’t mean you’re mates. Do you know what, he was one of these players who shouted their mouths off.
“I didn’t mind lads kicking me or booting me, honestly, but McAteer as usual had plenty to say for himself. But even then, I didn’t deserve to be sent off in that game, absolutely not. If you look back on it, I didn’t even catch him.”
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McAteer initially responded to Keane’s comments on social media, writing on X (formerly known as Twitter): “Love it. Players shouting their mouths off !!! Funny You can’t shut the clown up now. And no we weren’t team-mates cause he never showed up and when he did he went home !!!! Please !!!!! Bore off.”
He then followed that up on beIN SPORTS by challenging Keane to a boxing match live on TV, asking promoter Eddie Hearn to set up the bout. “Yeah [I’m tired of it],” McAteer said. “I’d rather he came in here now, and we just go, let bygones be bygones. Let’s just be civil.
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“Or we can get in the ring for £1 million each and fight it out! Eddie [Hearn], if you’re watching. Eddie Hearn, get him on the phone. Roy, come on. You’re better than that. And I promise to stop reacting.”
Keane has yet to respond to McAteer’s offer and it remains to be seen whether he would be prepared to become the latest celebrity to enter the ring. He wouldn’t be the first former United star to lace up a pair of gloves, however, as Rio Ferdinand in 2017 attempted to find a second career but was denied a license by the British Boxing Board of Control.
Patrice Evra was also set to fight YouTuber Adam Saleh at the O2 Arena in London last year, but their exhibition was postponed, with former Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara also due to fight on the card.
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