Former heavyweight boxer Julius Francis has had his bouncer license suspended after video emerged showing him knocking out a reveller.
Francis, who was knocked out by ‘Iron’ Mike during their contest back in 2000, was working as a bouncer outside BoxPark in Wembley when he left the man unconscious with a single punch on June 11.
Video of incident, which went viral, showed a man outside the venue hurling insults at staff and 57-year-old Francis intervening.
In the video, one man, wearing a blue du-rag, can be heard yelling profanities in the direction of Francis, ‘I hope you have a heart attack, you fat ****’ before he then shoves a smaller security guard.
After trying to move the reveller away from the premises, Francis threw a punch which clipped the man’s head and knocked him out cold.
Many on social media have applauded his actions, and the Metropolitan Police confirmed last week that they have dropped the investigation into the punch-up.
However it has come at a cost, as the former boxer told TMZ he has lost his security license as a result of the incident.
The man was left unconscious after the right-hand blow from former champion Julius Francis
Francis (right) famously faced off with hard hitting Mike Tyson (left) in a bout in Manchester in 2000
He told the US website that he had been ‘rightly’ arrested by police before being released with ‘no further action’ after taking statements from his manager, people at the door and looking at the CCTV.
He said: ‘I wasn’t worried so much about that because it was actually me defending myself. I had the right to defend myself and that’s what I did when he raised his hands from him.’
But he added that the Security Industry Authority (SIA), which regulates the private security industry, has suspended his license.
He said: ‘The SIA have suspended my license to work so I can’t work at the moment, so I’m just trying to get that sorted and then hopefully back on the doors as soon as possible, get back to work as soon as possible.’
Following the incident at BoxPark, the CEO of the venue Roger Wade, described him as ‘one of the nicest people’ he’s ever met.
Mr Wade asked viewers to think about how they would react in a similar situation.
He said: ‘Woke up to a viral story about one of our security team.
‘Julius Francis, is a former UK heavyweight boxing champion, he is one of the nicest people I have ever met and helps train young underprivileged kids boxing in his spare time.
‘My understanding is that Julius and our security team spent 15 minutes stopping this man and his friends from abusing, spitting and hitting our customers and staff.
‘They carefully escorted him from the premises under constant provocation and violence.
The former heavyweight boxer was knocked out during his contest with Tyson at the Manchester Evening News arena 22 years ago
‘Finally the person approached Julius in a confrontational manner and he defended himself.
‘Acts of violence or abuse to any staff members should never be tolerated. How would you react if someone approached you violently? What would you do next if you were in my shoes?’
Fans of the boxer were quick to joke about the ordeal – adding the Boxpark bust-up to Francis’ Wikipedia page, citing a ‘win’ against ‘blue du-rag man.’
Francis told TMZ: ‘This crazy era of social media and popularity of people. I was actually vindicated by the way people on social media got behind me.
‘To say that, we appreciate what you did, you were in the right. The guy served it and all this kind of stuff. I felt vindicated and it shows that people do still think about me and appreciate what I did during my boxing career.’
Following the incident fans jokingly changed Francis’ Wikipedia page to include the incident
He added that he would be interested in fighting Mike Tyson again, 22 years after the hard-hitting American knocked him out in their bout in Manchester.
‘I’m going to put it out there. I’ve never liked talking about money but they could put up with a decent offer. Then, who knows,’ he said.
Francis was knocked out 58 seconds into the second round of his fight with Tyson – the fourth time he was sent to the canvas during the bout.
During his career, Francis also fought Vitali Klitschko, but was stopped two rounds into their clash in 1998.
After he retired in 2006, he started a fitness company while working as a security guard.
Julius Francis: The boxer who honed his talent on the streets of South London, from stealing for food and being ‘stabbed eight times’ to heavyweight champ
Julius Francis (left) squares up to Mike Tyson (right) ahead of their bout in Manchester in 2000
By ADAM LUCK FOR MAILONLINE
Julius Francis was born in Peckham in 1965 to Caribbean parents. Along with his three siblings, Francis was reduced to stealing for food from an early age as their mother descended into mental illness while their father worked away from home.
The four were put into care when Francis was 10 and placed with a white foster family that left the ‘skinny black runt’ struggling for a sense of identity and survival amid skinheads and the National Front in Woolwich.
Fending for himself on the streets at 16, Francis dealt drugs, and by his own admission became a full time criminal who used his anger and burgeoning fighting skills to earn a living.
He told MailOnline in 2020: ‘The 80s was a crazy time for me. I was stabbed 8 times, shot at and I used to fight a lot.’
But when Francis found himself on remand at Brixton prison for offenses that, for once, he did not commit, he made a vow to himself.
‘I was told I was facing 10 years in prison. I said to myself ‘If I am convicted I will be the worst prisoner ever. I will die in prison.’
‘But if I’m not convinced, I thought ‘I am going to turn my life around.’
When he was acquitted, Francis took up amateur boxing and became the South East and London divisional champion, but he also moonlighted as an unlicensed professional fighter to make ends meet.
‘I was security at an unlicensed bill in a Maidstone cow shed full of gypsies and fighting men but when the top of the bill was left with no fighter I was offered the chance to take to the apron for £500.’
When someone blew the whistle on his double life, Francis found himself kicked out of the ABA and little alternative but to turn professional in 1993 to support his growing family.
When he acquired the Commonwealth and British Heavyweight titles, and secured a Lonsdale Belt outright, Francis began to craft a career and a reputation.
In late 1999, Francis was offered the chance by his manager Frank Maloney to take on the disgraced former undisputed world champion Mike Tyson and took ‘two seconds’ to say yes.
Francis was paid £350,000. By contrast Tyson was paid £7m. Francis spent his money on a house, now long gone, a car for his girlfriend and for himself a £5000 gold and diamond necklace.
Two months later, Francis fought and lost to a boxer he had already beaten citing ‘mental and physical exhaustion’. It was the beginning of the end.
After a brief foray in MMA fighting, Francis began to mentor troubled children and eventually became a security guard, and father-of-five.