Frank Maloney’s astounding comments during Wladimir Klitschko’s victory over Mariusz Wach ignited a Twitter war between two of the North-East’s most famous boxers on Saturday night.
Maloney said on ESPN, where he was working as an analyst: “All Klitschko was probably thinking was, ‘I’ve saved ten per cent; I haven’t got to pay Manny’.”
The WBA, IBF and WBO champion’s former trainer Emanuel Steward died last month and the American was a respected figure within the world of boxing; many have viewed Maloney’s comments as tasteless and disappointing.
The comment incensed Sunderland’s Tony Jeffries and Durham’s Glenn McCrory.
Initially Jeffries agreed with McCrory on Maloney’s misgivings, but the former world cruiserweight champion annoyed the Sunderland boxer when he said he was ‘always a fan’ of the light-heavyweight.
Jeffries was infuriated at what he saw as blatant lies from the Sky Sports pundit and replied with: ‘Be serious Glen u where (sic) never a “Jaffa fan”! RT @SkyGlennMcCrory: @Tony_Jeffries you ok pal? Always a Jaffa fan.’
The argument rattled on for an hour at least with both men trading insults at each other and their respective achievements.
Boxing fans on both sides were enjoying the action outside the ring with plenty getting behind Tony Jeffries, his support even including some Newcastle United fans.
‘Some twitter beef between @Tony_Jeffries + @skyglennmccrory last night which is a shame as they’re the North East’s 2 (sic) most successful boxers.’
One tweeter wrote: ‘Time to pipe down now @SkyGlennMcCrory The only think (sic) that stopped @Tony_Jeffries was a career ending injury+im (sic) a NUFC fan. Don’t be pathetic.’
Whilst Wladimir Klitschko might not have caught the attention of the North-East on Saturday evening, two of its former greats certainly did.
Al Jazeera presenter Andy Kerr, from Newcastle, wrote: ‘Some twitter beef between @Tony_Jeffries + @skyglennmccrory last night which is a shame as they’re the North East’s 2 (sic) most successful boxers.’
It may have been a bit of a storm in a teacup, but it certainly showed there’s no love lost when it comes to Sunderland versus Newcastle.