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Viral sensation and former boxer Julius Francis wants to fight Mike Tyson in a rematch 22 years after their first encounter.
The 57-year-old sent the internet into a frenzy after a video emerged of him knocking out an aggressive customer during a security guard shift at Boxpark Wembley. The former British heavyweight champion turned back the years to land a perfectly-timed right hand on the punter who had been pushing and shouting at staff.
Shortly after the incident, Francis revealed he had been arrested but the investigation was quickly dropped by the Metropolitan Police. Now, with his newfound popularity, he is hoping to run it back with ‘Iron Mike’.
“If there is a promoter that’s willing to promote a sanctioned fight,” Julius told TMZ during a recent interview. “And, I never have liked talking about money, but [if] they could come up with a decent offer, then who knows?”
“I’m going to put it out there,” Francis said. “I’m going to say, ‘Yes. Yes, we can have a rematch.’ I don’t know if anybody will watch it, but I’m going to say, ‘Yes.'”
Francis fought the former ‘Baddest man on the Planet’ in a non-title fight back in January 2000. At the time, he was the reigning British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion and had already faced the likes of Vitali Klitschko and John Ruiz in previous bouts. However, despite Tyson being far past his best, he was able to stop Francis in the second round.
In a quirky pre-fight sponsorship deal, Piers Morgan, the then editor of The Mirror, signed an agreement to have the news outlet’s branding on the bottom of Francis’ shoes with the underdog expected to be off his feet regularly. The newspaper got their money’s worth, as the Brit was knocked down five times in two rounds leading up to the stoppage.
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Despite no longer being under police investigation, Francis revealed during the same TMZ interview that he had been stripped of his Security Industry Authority Licence (SIA) – which gives bouncers the right to work the doors.
“What actually has happened, the SIA – they have actually suspended my license to work, so I can’t work at the moment anyway,” said Francis.
“So, I’m just trying to get that sorted, and then hopefully [I’ll be] back on the doors as soon as possible you know, get back to work.”
A Security Industry Authority spokesperson said: “We have suspended Julius Francis’s door supervisor licence. In cases where we have suspended a licence and there is no ongoing Police investigation, before we consider what further action may be appropriate, we will often seek further information from other relevant sources, including the licence holder. This is particularly important when a violent incident has occurred, and the safety of a member of the public has potentially been put at risk.”