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Zlatan Ibrahimović

Fury vs Wilder 3: Ibrahimovic, Sterling & Lingard send special messages to Gypsy King ahead of trilogy fight

16:45 BST 09/10/2021
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Tyson Fury Raheem Sterling
The WBC heavyweight champion - and Manchester United fan - is being backed by some of football's biggest names

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Raheem Sterling and Jesse Lingard have sent messages of support to Tyson Fury ahead of his much-anticipated trilogy fight against Deontay Wilder.

The pair go head-to-head in Nevada on Saturday, their third battle in less than three years, to decide the WBC and The Ring heavyweight titles.

And the English fighter has received some support from some big names in the football world, including the likes of England internationals Lingard and Sterling.

Football stars send messages to Tyson Fury

AC Milan striker and former Manchester United star Ibrahimovic is clearly a big fan of the Gypsy King, and recorded a video message offering his support ahead of the big fight.

The Swedish star said: "Tyson Fury, my friend, what's up. I hope you're well, I hope the camp went well, I hope your family is well, I hope everything is as it should be.

"I want to wish you big luck, even if you don't need it, you're on that level. Keep making history. People admire you, you're an inspiration for everybody so keep doing what you're doing, keep being yourself, that is most important.

"And do me a favour, just go out there and dance in the ring and do what you have to do. Take the belt home and keep going, keep striving, keep pushing. I wish you all the best. Take care and I'll be watching, so make me enjoy it."

Manchester City star Sterling also wished Fury the best for the fight and urged him to take the opportunity to silence his opponent.

"I just want to send a good luck message. Just go out there, keep schooling them like you've done in the last two fights," the England international said.

"You've made it look easy, but go out there and finish the job once and for all so he can stop all his noise. We know who the real champ is, so good luck."

Manchester United attacking midfielder Lingard kept his message short and sweet, saying: "I just want to wish you good luck in the fight. Make sure you smash it, stay true to yourself and be yourself."

There were also video recordings from ex-players Rio Ferdinand and Vinnie Jones, as well as stars of the celebrity world, including Canadian rapper Drake and WWE legend The Undertaker.

When is the fight & why is it important?

The fight will take place in Paradise, Nevada, and is scheduled to last 12 rounds, while it is likely to get underway between 4am and 5am (BST) on Sunday morning.

Fury and Wilder have gone head-to-head on two occasions thus far. 

The first meeting between the two heavyweights ended in a draw, while Fury took the rematch after inflicting a technical knock-out on his opponent in the seventh round. 

This third bout was originally scheduled for July 2020, but was pushed back on several occasions amid the Covid-19 pandemic, with another prospective date in July 2021 failing to take place when Fury returned a positive coronavirus test. 

On the line is Fury's WBC Heavyweight belt, while the Gypsy King is also recognised by The Ring magazine as the overall champion in his weight class. 

Wilder, meanwhile, held the WBC title for five years before suffering his first career defeat to Fury in 2019 and is desperate to reclaim his crown in the blockbuster fight. 

Who does Tyson Fury support?

Born in Wythenshawe, Manchester, Fury is a devout Manchester United fan and has regularly been spotted attending games when his schedule allows. 

In fact, after the Wilder fight he has set his sights on the Reds' home as his next venue - while firing a light-hearted warning to Cristiano Ronaldo that he plans to unseat him as the city's premier sporting star. 

"I have two fights left out here [in the United States] but I’d love to bring a world title fight back to Manchester," he told the Sun.

"It has always been a dream of mine to fight at Old Trafford. The last fight there was Eubank versus Benn in 1993 and that was massive.

"I’m really happy Ronaldo’s back at Old Trafford - but this town ain’t big enough for the both of us!"

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