The evening of 12 April was quite the wild ride on social media as Liam Payne and Tommy Fury both added posters of them facing off on their Instagram feeds. The mock-up design looked very similar to posters publicising big boxing fights, as the profile of the One Direction singer faced the former “Love Island” star with the words “Old Trafford” and “This Summer” between them.
Naturally, the internet went into meltdown, assuming a huge celebrity boxing match was on the cards. The idea wasn’t past the realms of possibility either, considering Fury recently beat US YouTuber Jake Paul in the ring just days after he became a dad – he even dedicated his win to baby Bambi and girlfriend, Molly-Mae. But fans weren’t impressed with Payne’s career change.
“liam payne announcing a fight with tommy fury was not how i expected this round of one direction reunion rumours to be shut down,” one tweeted. Another commented, “liam payne ily but i dont think this fight with tommy fury is gunna end well”. Others took to Twitter to question the cryptic poster, asking whether it was actually teasing that Payne would be performing at an upcoming Fury match. “Wait, fight or duet???” said another, speculating whether the pair would be collaborating on a song, which would have been quite the surprise.
As fans tried to work out what the post really meant, all was revealed on the morning of 13 April. The two will actually be facing off in Soccer Aid, the annual celebrity football match that raises money for Unicef. The event is due to take place on 11 June at Manchester United’s Old Trafford Stadium with Payne playing in a team captained by “I’m a Celebrity” winner Jill Scott, and Fury being led by Olympic gold medallist, Usain Bolt. And so the internet returned to its usual chaotic self with fans shocked that they fell for the poster.
We have to give credit to the soccer aid marketing team for this stunt as What’s App groups up and down the country were flooded with the potential boxing news. There might not be any punches swung between the pair, but we’ll be watching to see whose team will be declared as champion anyway.