Patrice Evra to take on controversial YouTuber in boxing debut next month

Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra will make his debut in the boxing ring next month.

The 40-year-old ex-France international, who retired from football in 2019, will take on 28-year-old Brooklyn YouTuber Adam Saleh at the O2 Arena in London on April 30.

Evra, who has never fought, has labelled his first jaunt into the ring as "a massive opportunity".

"I'm really excited to participate for the first time ever in my life in a boxing match, because I always had so much respect for people boxing," Evra said. "It is not just about power and strength, it is also about strategy and technique. It's like a chess game.

"What I am the most excited for is the training technique, because the way they train is completely different to how football players train. I am really excited to work hard, to challenge myself, and to get out of my comfort zone.

"It is a massive opportunity for me. Of course, I want to have fun, like with everything I do, but I also want to make sure I show that I respect this sport," he told Boxstar UK earlier this year,

Evra made over 700 career appearances, with 379 games for Manchester United.

Evra's United career began with an infamous debut against Manchester City in January 2006, when he was subbed at half-time just a few days after his £5.5m arrival from Monaco.

Sir Alex Ferguson later described his bow as a "total disaster".

However, Evra recovered and developed into one of the Premier League's best ever left-backs. He won 10 major trophies at the club, including the Premier League title five times and the Champions League before leaving for Juventus in 2014.

He hung up his boots almost three years ago after a short spell at West Ham.

Evra has worked as a soccer pundit but he will now switch his attention to a fight with Saleh on the undercard of the heavyweight clash between Martyn Ford and Sajad Gharibi.

"This fight will be April 30 at The O2 Arena in London," he said to his 9.3m followers on Instagram Live. "So I'm going to need my whole UK family to pull up and show their love, from not just London but all over the UK I need you guys because this is going to be really crazy."

Adam Saleh controversy

Evra will be up against a younger opponent who has some ring experience. Saleh, who has almost five million YouTube subscribers, has had three fights previously.

He defeated MMA fight Marcus Stephenson in 2019, getting the judges verdict after a six- round contest.

Saleh claimed he weighed in at 54kg, while he said Stephenson was 72kg.

In March 2021, Saleh's ex-manager, Naz, alleged in a live broadcast that Saleh had fixed the fight.

"The truth of the matter is, bro, you lied to everybody," Naz said, via "You paid Marcus off."

Saleh also saw a majority draw after a three-round fight with Walid Sharks in July 2021.

While he defeated Anas Elshayib, who was a better weight match, by unanimous decision in October 2021.

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