January 4, 2018

England boxer freed on bail pending deportation to Nigeria

England boxer freed on bail pending deportation to Nigeria


An England boxer held in a detention centre pending deportation has been freed on bail after being locked up for 34 days – including Christmas and New Year.


Kelvin Bilal Fawaz was being held in Tinsley House detention centre near Gatwick Airport, with the Home Office threatening deportation to Nigeria.

However, the 29-year-old was released late on Tuesday night after a judge heard his complex, 11-year case, reports the Telegraph .

Fawaz, London’s current middleweight boxing champion, arrived in the UK from Nigeria at the age of 14 and has represented England on six occasions – even against his birth nation.

He was sent to the UK by his parents at the age of 14 but was made a domestic slave by an uncle he was meant to be living with upon arriving England.

Subsequently, he ran away, but Stonebridge boxing club in Brent, west London, helped him turn a turbulent youth of petty crime around to become a national champion.

He was taken to the detention centre on November 29 after eight undercover officers arrested him at the club in Stonebridge for failing to report to an immigration centre.

It came after the Home Office had rejected several applications for citizenship and rights and declared his marriage to a British citizen void.

But on Tuesday, he was granted bail after the Home Office was unable to say when it might be able to secure the necessary travel documents to deport him.

Fawaz is now staying at the London home of his coach Toks Owoh. Under his bail conditions, he must register every week at a Home Office centre in Hounslown and reside with Owoh.