“I want to get out,” screamed an agitated man at the back of a plane on its way from London Heathrow to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Monday night.
Appearing to be suffering a panic attack, the man then tried opening the door of the aircraft only to be stopped from doing so by a number of fellow passengers, one of whom happened to be the brother of Dillian Whyte. “Calm down, bruv!” shouted 6’7 Dean Whyte as he grabbed the man in a bearhug and pulled him away from the door. “Calm down, bruv!”
It might sound like the setup to a joke but it’s true. There is no punchline.
The incident, a scary one for all involved, occurred an hour before BA flight 263 from Heathrow to Riyadh was due to land in the Saudi capital and left all involved shocked and shaken. Thankfully, though, it was swiftly resolved when air stewards, one carrying handcuffs, rushed down the plane to assist Whyte, and the unruly passenger was calmed down and returned to his seat.
Also on the plane were a number of Matchroom Boxing staff members as well as Yeta Odusanya, otherwise known as Anthony Joshua’s mother. They were all on their way to Riyadh to watch one of the biggest events of the 2019 boxing calendar and they, like Dean Whyte, didn’t expect to see action before their plane had even touched down in the dunes.
Whyte told the Guardian: “It was like something out of a movie. When I got there, he was shouting ‘I want to get out’ in broken English. I managed to grab him and was preparing to slam him hard if necessary but myself and the steward could see he wasn’t quite right in the head, so I held him and tried to calm him down. Eventually it worked.”
A British Airways flight attendant confirmed to the Guardian that the incident had been reported to the authorities. “I have never seen anything like that before,” they said.
Former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has also been in the mood for saving his fellow man of late.
According to a video posted today, Fury talked a random stranger out of committing suicide, persuading him instead to join him on a three-mile run, after which the troubled soul was reportedly left as “happy as Larry”.
“I’ve had a strange experience, very strange, and I’m very humbled, in one way, but very freaked out in another,” he said via a video posted to Traveller Boxers TBTV. “I had a random stranger come to my house tonight, told me he was just about to commit suicide, but he needed to speak to me first, before he did it.
“So me being me, talked him out of it, took him on a three-mile run.
“He’s left as happy as Larry, and it seems to have worked.”
If Deontay Wilder possesses the touch of destruction, his rival, Tyson Fury, appears to boast an innate ability to heal. He miraculously reanimated upon being dropped by Wilder in the twelfth round of their December 2018 fight and has since spent most of the following year giving hope not only to wide-eyed fans but similarly wide-eyed contenders who never before believed they were equipped to fight ‘The Gypsy King’ in America.