Boxer Tyson Fury has arrived back in England after surviving what he called “the scariest moment” of his life.
Booked to fight American-based ‘Italian Stallion’ Vinny Maddalone at Clevedon’s Hand Arena tomorrow week, the 6ft 9in Manchester-born Irish heavyweight champion had left his Belgium training camp and was travelling through Holland on his way back to the UK when he was seized by armed police, who mistook him and his team for killers.
Eight officers ordered Fury and his crew to get out of their vehicle and kneel at gunpoint. They were forced to remain there handcuffed for 30 minutes while officers searched their car and a force helicopter circled overhead. The group were then taken to a police station, where they were strip-searched and questioned on suspicion of robbery and murder.
Detectives said they matched the description of a gang of raiders who had shot dead a victim. Fury, 24, and his team were held for 11 hours before police accepted that they were innocent.
Britain’s rising heavyweight star told The Post: “It was the scariest moment of my life. They were pointing guns at us and shouting: ‘Get down, get down.’
“There had been a robbery in which someone was murdered and some guys in a bar had given the police a description of the robbers and it was similar to us.”
Fury was in the Low Countries to escape the media glare as he prepared for his clash with Maddalone, the main event on next week’s Channel 5-televised Hennessey Sports/Sanigar Events promotion.
He added: “The ironical thing is I came to Belgium and Holland to get away from distractions at home. What a choice!
“Boxing Vinny Maddalone should be easy compared with this. I’ll be a relieved man when I finally arrive in Bristol.”
Tickets are selling fast for a show that also features Bristol favourite Lee Haskins, who will bid to become the first fighter from the city to land a European title belt when he challenges Darlington’s Stuart Hall for the EBU bantamweight crown.
British middleweight sensation Chris Eubank Junior will support Fury and Haskins, while Bristol boxers Michael Graydon, Ricky Pow and Michael Ramabeletsa will feature on the undercard.
Tickets are still on sale, priced £30, and can be booked by calling the box office on 0117 949 6699.