UFC star targets Canelo after Messi threat – RT Sport News
Santiago Ponzinibbio defended Lionel Messi following scathing criticism from boxer Canelo Alvarez
UFC welterweight star Santiago Ponzinibbio has warned boxing icon Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez he’s picking a fight he can’t win in his scathing review of footballer Lionel Messi.
Multiple boxing world champion Canelo appeared to take considerable umbrage with footage that emerged online after Argentina’s FIFA World Cup victory over his native Mexico, which appeared to show Messi wiping his feet on the locker room floor with a Mexican jersey after Argentina’s 2-0. win Saturday.
An aggrieved Canelo tweeted shortly after the match that Messi was “clean the floor with our flagafter the match in which the PSG striker opened the scoring in the Group C encounter.
He added in a tweet that has since been deleted that Messi should « ask God I can’t find him », prompting the veteran UFC fighter to tell Canelo he was insulting the whole country of Argentina.
« I was angry,” Ponzinibbio told MMA Fighting.
« No need to threaten Messi. Everyone knows Messi’s career. Whether [Canelo] doesn’t know he shouldn’t say anything. It’s normal for players to throw shirts on the ground, they’re all sweaty, but he didn’t do anything disrespectful. Anyone who knows Messi knows he is an impeccable athlete and a very respectful person..”
Ponzinibbio, who amassed an impressive 28-6 mixed martial arts record, added that if Canelo was looking for a fight, he would be more than willing to uphold the honor of his country’s most beloved athlete.
« I was angry, » he explained.
« Brother, if you want to fight, I’m ready, but leave Messi alone. You play with Messi, you play with all of Argentina. Don’t disturb the child.”
First for Ponzinibbio, however, as he is set to face former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler in what promises to be a deadly encounter at next month’s bumper UFC 282 card in Las. Vegas.
After that? Who knows – especially if Canelo is targeting Messi again after Wednesday’s clash between Argentina and Poland.
Mexico will also face Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, with wins for Argentina and Mexico securing their passage to the round of 16 in Qatar.