Julius Francis has insisted he didn’t want to knock out a customer – but his punch landed right “on the button”.
Former heavyweight star Francis came back into the headlines last month after footage went viral of him knocking a rowdy customer out cold while working as a security guard in London. Francis was backed by the BOXPARK venue he was working outside and despite a brief investigation, the Metropolitan Police declared no further action would be taken.
Francis later confirmed he had lost his licence as a security guard after the incident which means he can no longer work. While assessing the incident, the former heavyweight has joked he has not lost his punch power despite having retired 16 years ago. “I can’t say that it was something that I wanted to do but it landed on the button and put the guy out,” Francis admitted when recalling the incident during an interview with iFL TV.
“It stopped the incident dead but it isn’t something I wanted to do. I always say and always have said that the last thing a heavyweight fighter loses is his punch. We might get fat, we might get old and lose our fitness but it is just second nature to us. I wasn’t really first involved with the situation but there was an incident inside the venue that escalated.
“The video what you see outside the venue is the last minute of what was happening for more than five minutes. I don’t go to work looking to hit someone or have a confrontation, that is the last thing I would ever want to do but it was just unfortunate. But we have still got it when we need to pull it out.”
The former heavyweight star received public backing after the incident with heavyweight champion Tyson Fury even condemning the actions of the heckling customer. BOXPARK CEO Roger Wade also came out and defended his employee in an official statement and confirmed the venue would not discipline Francis for his actions.
Julius Francis knocked out a customer while working as security ( Image: pixel8000)
During his career Francis shared the ring with the likes of Vitali Klitschko and Tyson in sanctioned bouts, and has been frequently asked about a boxing return since the incident. Francis was comfortably dispatched by Tyson during his career but has admitted he would leap at the chance to share the ring with him again if an offer is presented.
“I’m going to put it out there. I’ve never liked talking about money, but they could put up with a decent offer,” said Francis when asked about a second meeting with Tyson by TMZ. “Then, who knows. I’m going to put it out there. I’m going to say we can have a rematch. “I don’t know if anybody will watch it, but I’m going to say, yes.”