Santiago Ponzinibbio warns Canelo Alvarez for threatening Lionel Messi: “Brother, if you want to fight, I’m ready, but leave Messi be”

By Lewis Simpson - November 29, 2022

The 2022 World Cup has begun with 32 nations battling it out on the pitch for the ultimate prize in Qatar. Following Argentina’s 2-0 victory over Mexico, an unexpected rivalry broke out between boxing star Canelo Alvarez and UFC fighter Santiago Ponzinibbio.

Santiago Ponzinibbio

The beef started after a video surfaced on social media of Lionel Messi celebrating his goal and win in the dressing room with his teammates, and amidst the celebrations was a Mexican jersey on the floor. This offended Alvarez so much; he took to Twitter to express his annoyance.

Canelo Alvarez threatens soccer star Lionel Messi

“Did you guys see Messi cleaning the floor with our jersey and flag? he asked his followers after following up with a threat to the Soccer legend.

“He better pray to God that I don’t find him.”

Messi is widely considered a national treasure to the Argentina faithful, on par with the late Diego Maradona, so it was no surprise that his fans came to his defence. Among them were UFC veteran Santiago Ponzinibbio, who was born in Argentina.

Santiago Ponzinibbio fires back at Canelo Alvarez

“I was pissed,” Ponzinibbio said to MMA Fighting. “No point threatening Messi — everybody knows Messi’s career. If [Alvarez] doesn’t know he shouldn’t say a thing. It’s normal for players to throw jerseys on the ground, they are all sweaty, but he didn’t do anything disrespectful. Everybody that knows Messi knows he’s an impeccable athlete and a very respectful person.”

Ponzinibbio continued to voice Messi’s innocence and also sent a threat of his own to the Mexican.

“[Messi] had an excellent match,” Ponzinibbio continued. “I was upset. Brother, if you want to fight, I’m ready, but leave Messi be. You mess with Messi, you mess with entire Argentina. Don’t bother the kid.”

Messi has yet to comment on the situation as he prepares to return to the pitch on Wednesday to face off against Poland. A pivotal clash for both teams, who can advance to the round of sixteen with a victory.

Ponzinibbio is set to return at UFC 282 on Dec. 10 against Robbie Lawler. Alvarez on the other hand doesn’t have a bout pencilled in for his next contest between the ropes.

What do you make of Canelo Alvarez’s comments about Lionel Messi?


Santiago Ponzinibbio UFC