Furious fans have rallied around boxer Julius Francis as they condemned the security licensing authority’s decision to suspend him after he punched a reveller out cold.
Francis, who was knocked out by ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson 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.
The clip of incident, which went viral, showed a man outside the venue hurling insults at staff and 57-year-old Francis intervening – before punching him to the ground.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed last week that they dropped the investigation into the punch-up – but it was revealed last night that Francis has lost his Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence.
Speaking about losing his right to work in the security industry, the former boxer told TMZ: ‘The SIA have suspended my licence 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.’
Fans have rallied behind former champion Julius Francis (pictured) after it was revealed he was suspended by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) over the Boxpark bust-up
Julius Francis, a former British heavyweight boxer who now works as a security guard, has been filmed knocking out a rowdy reveller with a single punch in front of shocked bystanders
The man was left unconscious after the right-hand blow from former champion Julius Francis
The SIA regulates the private security industry – and has now come under scrutiny following the decision to bar the former boxer from the profession.
Julius Francis’ fans have pointed out that he was ‘acting in self defence’ so shouldn’t have had his licence taken away – with others saying the SIA should ‘hand their heads in shame.’
One person demanded: ‘give back Julius Francis his licence! Acts of violence or abuse to any staff members should never be tolerated. How would you react if someone approached you violently?
‘Clearly shows he was acting in self defence. Bring back bouncers not shirt fillers with SIA badge’s!’
Another added: ‘How on earth has Julius Francis had his security licence removed?! It’s absurd. So you’re not allowed to defend yourself nowadays?! Lunacy. The SIA should hang their heads in shame. Big up the BoxPark boss for sticking up for Julius.’
And a third wrote on Twitter following the news: ‘Disappointed to hear that Julius Francis has been suspended by the SIA & now can’t work as a door steward. Hopefully someone makes a fundraising page to tide him over while it gets sorted’
A fan added: ‘Disgusting suspension this. Hope he gets it sorted,’ while another piped in: ‘Sort it out SIA!! Absolute joke. Ffs.’
Furious fans took to social media to complain about the SIA’s decision to remove Julius Francis’ licence to work in security as a bouncer after the punch-up with a reveller outside Boxpark in Wembley on June 11
And another said: ‘This is ridiculous, he was defending himself, the guy was clearly coming towards him and was aggressive verbally and physically.
‘Very bad message the SIA are putting out. It was one punch, it was not a attack or assault. Poor guy, how did the villain become a victim.’
A furious fan wrote: ‘What a f****** joke, SIA should be ashamed of them self , you can’t hire people to do security then suspend them when they have to actually do there job.’
Many believed that the SIA shouldn’t have suspended Julius after the Met Police confirmed that they stopped their investigation into the Boxpark bust-up.
One person added: ‘SIA should be ashamed. Even the police took no further action! Basically your saying that your staff cant defend themselves when faced with aggression and threatening behaviour!’
In the video filmed earlier this month, 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.
The man appeared to raise a fist to Francis before he was floored by the former British champ
Pictured: Julius Francis (left) and Mike Tyson exchange blows during the heavyweight contest at the Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester. Tyson won by a second round stoppage
Mike Tyson looks up to Julius Francis at the weigh in at the Midland hotel, Manchester in January 2000
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 shocked viewers at the scene had no idea that the man who landed the punch was a former heavyweight fighter – who once went toe-to-toe with Tyson.
Following the incident at BoxPark, the CEO of the venue Roger Wade, described Francis 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 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.
‘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?’
Mr Wade has been contacted for comment following the news that Julius had his licence suspended by the SIA.
The former British heavyweight champion had notable bouts against four future or former World heavyweight Champions including John Ruiz in 1994 and Mike Tyson in 2000 – both of which he lost.
He famously lasted just four minutes with Tyson during their bout at the Manchester Evening News Arena.
Francis also fought Vitali Klitschko but was stopped in two rounds during their bout in 1998.
After he retired in 2006, he started a fitness company while working as a security guard.
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, we will seek further information from other relevant sources, including the licence holder.’