Tyson Fury has called for change after his cousin was killed in a stabbing.
The heavyweight boxing champion announced the death of Rico Burton on social media today (21 August).
Writing on Instagram, Fury said: “This needs to stop.”
Here is all you need to know:
Tyson Fury said that his cousin Rico had been “stabbed in the neck” and died.
He wrote on Instagram: “My cousin was murdered last night, stabbed in the neck, this is becoming ridiculous idiots carry knives.
“This needs to stop asap, UK government needs to bring higher sentencing for knife crime, it’s a pandemic & you don’t know how bad it is until it’s one of your own!
“Life is very precious & 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.”
The incident is reported to have happened in Altrincham, Manchester just after 3am today (21 August).
Who was Rico Burton and how old is he?
The Sun reports that Rico had trained with his cousin Tyson when he was younger.
He had previously worked as a roofer but had moved into selling cars, friends said.
Rico is reported to have been 31 years old.
His former coach Steve Egan, 60, who also coached Tyson at one point, was “devastated” to hear of the tragedy.
He told the PA news agency: “Rico was a lovely lad… (he) trained with us for five years, won two national titles, he was a fantastic boxer – a very relaxed and skilful boxer.
“He could (have) gone a long way in the professional boxing ranks – lovely lad, always smiling. One of the nicest lads you could meet.
“We are all devastated by this very sad news and really feel for all the family. RIP Rico Burton.”
What have police said?
A Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said: “Police are appealing to the public for further information after two males were stabbed outside a bar in Altrincham.
“Shortly after 3am this morning (Sunday 21 August 2022), police were called to reports of two males having been stabbed outside a bar on Goose Green, Altrincham. Emergency services attended the scene. Two men were rushed to hospital with serious and life changing injuries.
“A 31-year-old male has sadly passed away a short time later in hospital. A 17-year-old male also remains in hospital with serious injuries.”
A 21-year-old male was arrested at the scene on suspicion of section 18 assault and remains in custody.
A murder investigation has been launched and the force is appealing for any witnesses to contact them.
Who is Tyson Fury?
Born on 18 August, 1988, in the Wythenshawe area of Manchester, Fury is a heavyweight boxer.
He is a two-time world champion - known by the nickname The Gypsy King, due to his family belonging to Irish Travellers.
Fury has held the WBA title since 2020 when he defeated Deontay Wilder.
Previously he held the unified WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, and The Ring titles after defeating Wladimir Klitschko in 2015.
He has spoke recently about his plans to retire from boxing.
Knife crime ‘pandemic’
Sir Peter Fahy, former chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, told Sky News: “While we need further police action, and there’s real concern not just about further police action but the huge number of backlogs of cases in the courts.
“It’s no good the police being able to arrest people and then they’re out on bail. It takes years sometimes to get those people into court.
“But we also need really good youth projects, things like boxing clubs, working with schools, church groups and other agencies.
“It was that sort of joint action and enforcement and working with young people that brought down the huge number of gun crime in Manchester in the late 1990s and early 2000s and I’m sure the police will be focusing on that again.”
He added: “The main issue is the huge backlog … there is a backlog of 58,000 cases and if you’re dealing with young criminals, crucially you get them into court quickly.
“If they are out on bail, the chances are that they’re going to commit more crime which puts more work back into the system and creates more victims.
“Absolutely harsher sentences have their part to play, but often when you’re talking about a random offence like knife crime where somebody chooses suddenly to pull out a knife, and they stab someone in the artery causing them to die, really it’s not in their mind how long of a prison sentence (they are) going to get.
“The crucial thing is that the police are out there to arrest people, they get into the court system quickly and adequate measures are put in place not only to control that person but to try and rehabilitate them.
“I think it’s that lack of capacity in the court system which will be worrying police most.”
What has the Government said?
Downing Street offered Boris Johnson’s sympathy to Tyson Fury following the stabbing of cousin Rico Burton, but defended measures taken by the Government to cut knife crime.
A No 10 spokeswoman said: “Firstly, the Prime Minister’s thoughts are with the family. No family should ever have to go through the unimaginable grief that Tyson Fury’s family are suffering.
“That is why we are determined to make our streets safer. It is why this Government is boosting police ranks to get more officers out on our streets. And we’re giving them the powers they need to get more knives off our streets.
“That includes greater powers of stop and search and new court orders to target known knife carriers and allow the courts to intervene earlier and place conditions like curfews on them.
“Since 2019 we’ve removed over 72,000 knives through stop and search and our surrender programmes.
“Under this Government those caught with a knife are more likely to be sent to jail, and for longer, than they were a decade ago.”
But there was “more to do” to “spare families from the misery it (knife crime) causes”.