TORONTO – Oscar-nominated actor Mark Wahlberg caught up with his buddy Tie Domi in Toronto on Tuesday and tempted the retired NHL enforcer with a friendly bout in the boxing ring.
“Hey, Tie Domi, I’m officially challenging you,” Wahlberg, who co-produced and starred in the 2010 Oscar-nominated boxing flick “The Fighter,” told Domi when the tough-guy hockey player called him on his cellphone during an interview.
“Because there’s no hockey, I’m officially challenging you to a fight at the Air Canada Centre. Are you in or not? … Don’t duck me.”
Wahlberg, who was in Toronto to talk about his upcoming film “Broken City” and do a youth charity event, then gave Domi the number of the downtown hotel room he was in with his entourage.
“We’re gonna have to open the double doors so your head can fit through,” quipped Wahlberg, 41, in his native Boston accent.
Hanging up, he then said: “He’s been ducking me, so make sure you put it out in the newspapers.”
Domi did indeed show up to the hotel room, giving Wahlberg a hug before exchanging mock fisticuffs. He told reporters the feisty Hollywood star often poses such challenges to him.
Wahlberg said the two have been friends since he was 18, when he met Domi on his first visit to Toronto to perform a concert with his rap group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.
“He’s fun because obviously he’s a big hockey fighter but boxing and hockey is pretty different. You can’t hold somebody’s shirt and punch with the other hand, and there’s no body protection, no equipment in boxing,” said Wahlberg, a 2007 best supporting actor Oscar nominee for “The Departed.”
“I don’t want to fight him on skates, I want to fight him in the ring. But I pose the challenge right now.”
Wahlberg, whose mother is French Canadian and Irish, could skate if he had to, though.
“I hadn’t skated for, like, 15 years and then I was doing ‘Four Brothers’ and I had to skate again, so I started skating all the time and then we shot it up here, which was fun, so we’d go to a lot of the rinks,” he said.
“It was funny because there was a hockey strike then. What’s going on?”
“Broken City,” which stars Wahlberg as a fallen cop who runs into trouble when he helps out the city’s mayor (Russell Crowe), opens across Canada on Jan. 18.