The founder of London's Boxpark has responded to footage of a member of his security team, ex-UK heavyweight boxing champion Julius Francis, knocking someone out outside the hospitality venue.
Footage shared online of the incident shared online shows Francis punching a man wearing a blue durag in the face, knocking him to the floor.
It came after the punter was seen screaming at Boxpark staff and tried to get physical himself by pushing a man standing outside the venue.
However, after he was knocked to the ground, his friends rushed to his side to help, while another person could be heard saying to the former Mike Tyson opponent: “Why? There was no need.”
The clip was shared by talkSPORT's Michael Benson, who wrote: “Former British heavyweight champion Julius Francis (who fought Mike Tyson) now working as security at Boxpark Wembley and dealing with some trouble today…”
It's since gone viral with more than four million views and has ultimately reached the higher echelons of Boxpark itself, with founder and CEO of the organisation Roger Wade have his say.
Wade posted to LinkedIn: "Woke up to a viral story about one of our security team.
"Julius Francis, is [sic] ex 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."
Wade continued: "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. 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? #istandwithjulius".
Wade's statement follows an earlier comment given to LADbible by a spokesperson for Boxpark who said: "Our team are aware of footage being shared online. This incident is currently under review and part of an ongoing police investigation, and therefore we are unable to comment further on the incident at this time.
"We would like to stress that the safety and welfare of our customers and our staff is our number one priority."
Although Francis ended up with a middling card on retirement, with 23 wins, 24 losses and a no contest, he fought some of his era's biggest names in the heavyweight scene in the 90s and 00s.
At his peak he was British and Commonwealth Heavyweight champion, holding the titles from 1997 until 2001.
He also fought Mike Tyson in 2000, losing on a TKO, as well as taking on other some-time world champions and contenders such as Vitali Klitschko, Audley Harrison and Oleg Maskaev.
At 57 years old, it's clear that he still packs a punch when needed.
Words by Simon Catling
Featured Image Credit: Twitter
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