PATRICE EVRA will fight the self-proclaimed “World’s Best YouTube Boxer” who found fame on Ellen DeGeneres’ show.
The Manchester United legend is confirmed for a shock celebrity match at the O2 Arena on Saturday April 30.
And the man welcoming him to the ring is social media influencer Adam Saleh, also known as a boxer on YouTube.
Evra, 40, was specifically picked to play against the American – who warned the retired left-back had made a wrong choice.
Saleh told SunSport: “They showed Patrice Evra four or five opponents and I was one of them.
“He and his PR team picked me and made a mistake. He’s starting his boxing career – but I’m about to end his boxing career.
“They really think he can knock me out, that’s what they told me on 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 Manchester United football legend who was a team-mate of Cristiano Ronaldo.”
Saleh, who has boxed in three other similar bouts, has 1.5 million Instagram followers and nearly 5 million YouTube subscribers.
But he got his big break in 2013 after winning a dance show on DeGeneres’ talk show — which jumpstarted his content career.
Saleh revealed: “I won a trip to go on her show and she interviewed. I got a lot of traction there, around 50,000 subscribers.
“From there I just capitalized, I even make music for fun, I’ve toured all over the world and now it’s like YouTube boxing has become a thing.
“I also used to shoot street boxing videos in New York. There’s a video of me that has about 18 million views where I happened to have a street boxing match.”
One such viral street fight video landed Saleh in hot water and, in turn, ended his amateur boxing career.
He said: “I had my amateur boxing license taken away when I was boxing in the street and people were taping me.
“It appeared on this website called World Star Hip Hop. I did have some amateur experience, but after that I took a break for about ten years.”
Saleh claimed to have had an unbeaten 14-0 record in the amateurs until he was booted out at the age of 16.
But those early fights and training later became important after the rise of YouTuber stars in boxing.
Brothers Jake and Logan Paul, 26 and 25, and Britain’s KSI, 28, are among the pioneers of the wave.
But Saleh, 28, insisted he is better than most of them, with the amateur experience to back it up.
He said: “Technically and technically I’m the best YouTube boxer right now.
“Yeah, I’m not the same weight as KSI, Logan, Jake, but if I was, it would be a problem for them.
“You should be glad I’m not. But definitely I think I’m the most skilled and technically best YouTube boxer in the world right now.”
Saleh, who has a record of two wins and one draw, was contacted by newly formed promotion BoxStar to box Evra.
And after less than two weeks of talks and an NDA to keep negotiations quiet, the New Yorker was picked for the surprise fight.
Saleh said: “I was ready for it, I would love to share the ring with the legend and teach him a lesson to never set foot in the boxing ring with me again.
“I will know no mercy.”
Celebs and even retired boxing champions have been accused of trying to profit with shameful fights for money.
But former Champions League winner Evra cannot fall into that category as his motives for returning to boxing are still unknown.
What Saleh is doing now is that it’s not about money – which makes the Frenchman unmissable.
Saleh said: “It makes him very, very dangerous 100 per cent and I take him very seriously like I’m fighting Tyson Fury, the world champion.
“That’s how I see it, they told me he was very, very competitive.
“I didn’t know much about him before but they told me he’s a very ambitious guy who takes everything he does very seriously.
“In my head I think he’s definitely not doing it for the money, he’s a legendary footballer.
“In my head I’m like, ‘Wow, that makes him dangerous.’ But at the same time, my coach makes sure he looks at him like any other opponent.”
Saleh has a wardrobe of several football shirts – but knows which two teams he is supporting for the foreseeable future.
He said: “I have a couple of jerseys. I have Arsenal, Liverpool, I have Manchester City. From now on I am Man City and Liverpool.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4992516/patrice-evra-adam-saleh-youtube-boxer-ellen-degeneres/ Meet Patrice Evra’s opponent Adam Saleh, the “best YouTube boxer in the world” who rose to fame on the Ellen DeGeneres show