The world heavyweight champion demanded action from ministers on knife crime
Boxing king Tyson Fury has demanded that the UK government crack down on knife crime after his cousin was stabbed to death in the early hours of Sunday morning during an apparent attack outside a bar in Altrincham, Greater Manchester.
Rico Burton, 31, was killed after being stabbed in the neck in what was described as a “bloodbath,” according to UK media reports.
The row is said to have broken out inside a bar in Goose Green before escalating outside the venue.
WBC world champion Fury took to social media to issue his plea just hours after the blockbuster heavyweight title rematch between Aleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua had ended.
“My cousin was murdered last night, stabbed in the neck. This is becoming ridiculous idiots carry knives. This needs to stop ASAP,” the 34-year-old wrote on Instagram, adding a large ‘Stop knife crime’ image.
“UK government needs to bring higher sentencing for knife crime, it’s a pandemic and you don’t know how bad it is until it’s one of your own!
“Life is very precious and it can be taken away very quick enjoy every moment. RIP RICO BURTON. May the lord god grant you a good place in heaven. See you soon.”
Police have launched a murder inquiry into the death, with a 21-year-old man being arrested at the scene and a 20-year-old later being detained.
A 17-year-old is said to remain in hospital with serious injuries sustained in the same incident, although his condition is not described as being life-threatening.
Local law enforcement officials have also appealed for witnesses to come forward.
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said he was “aware of the media circulation” of Fury’s post, but “can’t confirm whether there is a connection with the family.”
“It remains a number one priority of ours to remove knives from the street and try to tackle these kinds of incidents,” he added.
Recent UK government statistics for England and Wales showed “knife-enabled crime” recorded by the police saw a 10% increase to 49,027 offenses in the year ending March 2022 – although that was said to be below levels recorded prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fury’s social media message came on a night when ‘The Gypsy King’ suggested that he would be willing to make a return to the ring to face Usyk in a potential world heavyweight title unification fight, after the Ukrainian defeated British rival Joshua via split decision in their rematch in Saudi Arabia.