"They'll make great martial artists" - Jonathan Haggerty picks three footballers who'd succeed in his line of work

(Pictured) Two-sport ONE world champion Jonathan Haggerty.
(Pictured) Two-sport ONE world champion Jonathan Haggerty.

In the eyes of two-sport ONE world champion Jonathan Haggerty, a couple of Manchester United legends and a present Liverpool player should have no issues trading their football boots for the four-ounce gloves.

The Londoner, a Chelsea fan, will be back in action to defend his ONE bantamweight Muay Thai world title against Superlek Kiatmoo9 at ONE 168: Denver, which emanates live in U.S. primetime inside the Ball Arena on September 6.

While running through a few topics with Sky Sports MMA Club on his next assignment, the Knowlesy Academy and Team Underground athlete was asked to list three footballers who could take to the martial arts realm like a duck to water.

Here was his response:

"Three footballers who I think, they'll make great martial artists - I'd say Wayne Rooney. Next, I'd go with Virgil Van Dijk. And then we'll go with Roy Keane. I'd say him, yeah."

Jonathan Haggerty's theory isn't too far-fetched, after all. While Van Dijk and Keane's leadership and aggressive traits could work well in his line of work, Rooney seems like a perfect fit, given his athletic prowess during his glory days.

Rooney, the Red Devils' all-time top goal scorer and a five-time English Premier League winner, has considered a boxing stint in the past after hanging up his boots for good during his sole player-manager season at Derby County in 2021.

The former striker has also been an avid boxing fan, supporting the likes of Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan during their fights in England.

Most recently, 'Wazza' confirmed that he has held talks with a boxing promoter to fight at one of their local events. However, he remains committed to his duties as Plymouth Argyle's new manager next season.

Jonathan Haggerty explains decision to pursue martial arts over football

Like most Englishmen, football was the first thing that piqued Jonathan Haggerty's interest as a young kid. Whenever he wasn't in the classroom or at home, a kickabout in the park or the streets was the only thing he wanted to do.

However, from the very day he discovered martial arts, 'The General's attention swayed towards the latter. Fortunately, now one of the biggest superstars on the ONE roster, it has proven to be a perfect decision.

On why he picked Muay Thai over football, Jonathan Haggerty told FirstSportz MMA previously:

"I grew up originally playing football. I enjoyed football, but, unfortunately, you can't do both sports. I knew that growing up I needed to choose one, and I don't know why, but I chose to get punched in the face for a living. But it is paying off now."

Jonathan Haggerty returns to the global stage of ONE Championship in a rematch against ONE flyweight kickboxing world champion Superlek Kiatmoo9 at ONE 168: Denver on September 6. Tickets for the card can be purchased here.

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Edited by Krishna Venki
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