Will Smith and Mark Wahlberg have both wowed audiences with their performances as boxing legends but could they transfer the skills and training they have developed in these roles into real sporting potential? Boxing promoter and head of the Hollywood Boxing Federation, Damon Feldman thinks so.
Feldman has offered the pair $1 million each to get into the ring for three rounds in a celebrity boxing extravaganza he hopes to stage in Las Vegas in February.
Will Smith, now 42, was fighting fit when he stared as heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in 2001 and Mark Wahlberg, 39, has been training hard for his role in The Fighter which was nominated for six Golden Globe awards.
The Hollywood Boxing Federation has not disclosed where the two million dollars would come from to pay the celebrities but they would retain any profits made from television rights sold for the event.
Despite the huge media interest in the proposed bout, it seems unlikely that it will go ahead. Damon Feldman is surrounded by controversy since he was stripped of his licence to promote fights in his home town of Pennsylvania following charges of match-fixing made by the state’s Athletic Commission in April.
The federation may have to settle for less high profile celebrity sparing partners. In the past their challengers have included Vanilla Ice, Danny Bonaduce, Lindsay Lohan’s dad Michael.