Elite level boxer Bilal Fawaz who fought for England six times facing deportation
An elite level boxer who has fought for England six times is facing being deported to Nigeria. The 29-year-old, of Hayes in Hillingdon, who has competed for England six times and was the 2012 ABA light-middleweight champion, came to England when he was 14.
Brought to the UK illegally by an uncle, he was told his father would be arriving soon, but the man never turned up. Fawaz, who calls himself Kelvin, was treated ‘like a slave’ before he ran away from the home he was living in and was taken into care.
Now married to an English woman, the boxing prodigy went through a turbulent period involving drug gangs, getting shot once and stabbed a reported 25 times.
However, he turned his life around after taking up boxing in 2011 at the Stonebridge Boxing Club in Brent and has risen through the ranks to become one of Britain’s top amateur boxers – currently ranked the third best middleweight in England.
But the Home Office have rejected his application to remain in the UK and declared his marriage to a British citizen void. The athlete was arrested and taken to the Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre in Gatwick.
He said: ‘I’m allowed to box for England but I’m not allowed to stay in England.
‘I’ve spent over half of my life here – I went to school here, I lived here, I’ve boxed for England six times and never lost.
‘I am a national champion – in 2014 I even boxed for England against Nigeria, the country they want to deport me to.’
Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington John McDonnell and England Boxing have appealed to the authorities on the boxer’s behalf, but without success.
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘When someone has no leave to remain in the UK, we expect them to leave the country voluntarily.
‘Where they do not, we will seek to enforce their departure.’
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