Feature | Highlight 1 | Issue | Premium | Jan 28 2020

When Mike Tyson came to Britain

Twenty years have passed since Mike Tyson created an unforgettable storm when he came to the UK amid objections from the media, the government and never-before-seen adulation from fans. Julius Francis was the proverbial sacrificial lamb served up to the monster and here, alongside trainer Mark Roe and promoter Frank Warren, he talks to Declan Warrington about the whole event
Mike Tyson
Photos: Action Images

How did you feel when the fight was confirmed?

Julius Francis: I was very happy to have even been considered. He was and is intimidating, but I can’t say I was frightened, ‘cause I wasn’t. I wasn’t frightened; I was more bothered about my daughter being born, even though I had to be selfish in going away to train.

Mark Roe: To reach them sort of heights was as good as any world title fight. I wasn’t nervous at all. The only concerns I had were if the fight would really happen, and to make sure that Julius wasn’t entirely beyond his capabilities with such a formidable opponent. Even though he’d been beat, Tyson was still thought of as the invincible foe.